“Zen” & Career Choices

“Along the way to achieving career success,

there are paths defined, paths yet to be defined, and paths unknown. Keep traveling.”

Celestine McMullen Allen

Career choices represent a critical component of our professional world.  As with our personal lives, we pour so much of ourselves into “our” world of work. We may or may not have a clear path; sometimes meeting the day-to-day needs of “living” is our motivation – survival; foregoing an essence of us that is buried deep – to be professionally successful. Survival or bad choices become our comfort zone. The yoke can be unbound as long as we take measures to understand that person that we call “self”. As well, it is equally important to understand your skills, inherent traits, and interests and requires us to dig deep into our inner self.

I chose a Zen theme for this blog post for that reason. At at some point in our lives, it is important to totally connect with ourselves introspectively and intuitively. Introspectively, (I love this word), we have to understand what works for us and what doesn’t. Intuitively refers to that gut feeling that we get when we know things are not right. The principles and philosophies of Zen are much more comprehensive than what is presented in this article, but the basic principles align itself so perfectly when it comes to a thought process we could use when we make career decisions.

The concept is powerful…
you feel “Zen” when you go to the spa
…you feel “Zen” when you go to the beach or mountains
…you feel “Zen” when you create environments in your home that make you feel serene

So, why not transfer those same euphoric feelings into making a good career choice. So what is wrong with feeling “Zen” when you go to work each day and make things happen on the job, create or enhance a new process, or create a solution to a problem that your organization has been struggling with, or land a new piece of business. This is Zen, – the seeking of enlightenment through introspection and intuition. It is possible to incorporate the concept into your career decisions and career fulfillment.

Incorporate the concept of “Zen” into your career decisions.

1. Embrace this  Zen correlation to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of self – what motivates you, what your interest are, what types of tasks and activities excite you, and how you use this relevant information to plan your career path.
2. Understand your passions. There are several schools of thoughts regarding one’s career passion – they may or may not make you rich. But for me, it is the filtering of transferrable skills that are associated with your passion into viable career options. For example, your passion may be writing. You may or may not not have the formula for a bestselling novel, but there are so many professional opportunities that utilize writers – content writers for social media platforms and websites, marketing professionals, technical writers, writers for industry journals., and writing business communications to name a few. And you can still write your book.
3. We are painstakingly focused on achieving some goal and aimlessly pursue some path. Is it just because you landed the job? Is because you are glazed over by the industry? Is it because you like what you think you will be doing? Have you overstepped your current capabilities? Do you accept a job in which the culture of the organization is not a good fit for you? These scenarios happen a lot, leaving so many employees disillusioned. Without addressing these relevant scenarios, it does not matter what type of work environment you are in, you will still be out of sorts with yourself; akin to fitting a square peg in a round hole if you do not take the necessary steps to truly understand what your needs are within a professional environment.

Years ago, I found this quote that says that “we are all suited for a certain type of work, and when we find that niche – (the roles we are “professionally” suited for) – then hard work is not hard work at all.” This is the first step to ensuring that you are not subjected to the ails of trying to make your mark professionally and not succeeding. The journey begins with what you bring to “the table” and how you use these skills in your chosen profession. Secondarily, it is a matter of understanding the motivations of your employer, the culture of the organization, your ability to make an impact on their success, and what you want to accomplish as you move forward in the progression of your career. If the two mesh, this is what “Zen” is about.

This “Zen” experience applies whether you are just starting out in your career, whether you have to re-define you career goals due to economic circumstances (re-purposing yourself), or whether you finally figure out that you need to make a career change after years of being “unprofessionally fulfilled” in your current job. After all, we spend 75% of our time thinking about work, doing the work, decompressing after work, and getting ready for the next day for work experiences to be miserable.

Are you professionally fulfilled in your current job?
Vision Qwest Solutions offers a cadre of tools and resources to assist you with your career decisions. I utilize personality assessments, interest inventories, and knowledge gleaned from years of supporting organizations and corporations as an HR Professional and Recruiter.

Contact Vision Qwest Solutions to help you to identify viable options for your career path at www.visionqwestsolutions.com or contact me via email at celestine@visionqwestsolutions.com

Celestine McMullen Allen, President
Vision Qwest Solutions

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