Help your clients discover their “soul careers” and stop the vicious cycle of job-hopping
By Lori Jazvac.
It’s not uncommon for clients to express their experiences of frustration with their careers. They may say that they need a better salary, security, or fringe benefits, or that their careers lack meaning. Often, the need to secure a stable income and avoid potential employment gaps leads to staying in the same role and avoiding change. However, taking this approach without conducting solid career exploration and decision-making may perpetuate a vicious cycle of frustration and job-hopping, which, in turn, leads to an unfocused career path.
Are your clients working in their soul careers? I define “soul career” as a career that is aligned with your passion and purpose.
How do you know that you have a “soul career”?
- Passion & Purpose. You simply love the work that you do and consider this role as your niche. You know instinctively that you were always meant to do this work. You are not distressed by work-life balance or the number of hours that you devote to your life’s work. You are committed to improving your skills and abilities to offer the highest standards of excellence.
- Personal Success. Advancement is important to you, but your career is focused on serving a higher purpose. Profitable and growth-filled opportunities seem to flow naturally. You are recognized for your innate talents in positive leadership, community-building, problem solving, or inspiring others to achieve a greater goal. Your career progresses through finding creative opportunities to shine while helping others find success.
- Faith & Perseverance. While you may encounter obstacles, you are confident in leveraging your strengths and abilities to counter these obstacles. You welcome change and risk, and are able to transform weaknesses and obstacles into creative opportunities to serve others.
- Self-Actualization. You are contributing to helping achieve vital objectives – you feel like your career has existential meaning. In fact, you may feel like you’ve encountered the “Self-Actualization Stage” of Maslow’s hierarchy.
How can career development practitioners help clients discover their “soul career”?
- Career Exploration & Decision-Making. Encourage clients to explore different possibilities and opportunities through spontaneity and taking action.
- Skills & Interests Inventory. Have your clients fully evaluate their career related passions, hobbies, skills, and interests. Assess marketable skills. Some of the best careers have originated from a passionate hobby or interest.
- Career Assessments. Informal and formal career assessments can serve as a valuable guide and self-learning tool for clients, helping formulate a bigger picture of their career development.
- Values Assessment. Help your clients explore and rank their values. Does social responsibility, creativity, or helping others rank high in importance in a career?
- Informational Interviewing. Support clients in networking with other professionals, colleagues, family, and friends about careers of interest. Encourage your clients to attend trade shows, conferences, webinars, seminars, and social media sites, and to join professional associations.
- Journaling. Suggest your clients record thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a personal journal; observe and take note of changes, milestones, and turning points throughout their career history; and outline a vision and mission statement in words and images.
- Job Shadowing. Encourage clients to gain practical experience in a certain role that they have always wanted to learn more about. This will clarify expectations and allow effective goal-setting and drive action planning.
Careers that are aligned with one’s passion and purpose tend to generate better job satisfaction, career longevity, personal fulfillment, and meaning.