Aaron Hurst is a global thought leader and someone I greatly admire. His work in distilling what gives us purpose is groundbreaking. Here he gives his practicaltips for applying this to career transitioning. Reading this list, I can see why what we do at Leadership Space with career transition coaching works and becomes a joyful and exciting process. A great checklist for anyone thinking of, or already on the wonderful journey of getting their career aligned to their purpose.
Research has shown that we get purpose from relationships, doing something greater than ourselves and through personal growth. A job search that is designed around these three sources of purpose cannot only be rewarding but is also likely to land you a job where you thrive.
Here are seven ways I have seen professionals lead purpose-driven job searches. These are the practices that turn a transition from a lowlight to a highlight in their careers.
1. Be social. Relationships are one of the best times to meet new people and reconnect with old friends. Meet with as many people as you can and use the conversations to uncover opportunities. Try to meet at least one new person and reconnect with another everyday during your search.
2. Be generous. Rather than focusing your relationships on serving you, focus on serving others. Ask people you meet about their needs and challenges and see how you can help. It isn’t easy to do when you are feeling anxious about finding work, but being generous will bring you purpose and make your network more likely to help you in the end.
3. Be curious. There are few times you can meet with so many people from different fields and industries. Use your job search to learn about the world and broaden your horizons.
4. Be courageous. Don’t confine your search to jobs that are similar to your last. Explore some career paths that would stretch you and expose you to new thinking and challenges. You might find a new path that is much better than the one you are traveling.
5. Be self-aware. Use the time during a job search to become clearer about what drives purpose for you. There are 24 different purpose patterns that determine what we need to have purpose at work. You can find yours on Imperative.com to help inform your search.
6. Be authentic. Using your purpose pattern, think back to all your previous jobs and how you found purpose in each one. What were your purpose moments? What really matters to you in a job? Use these insights to define what you are seeking in your next job. During interviews tell employers about what drives purpose for you at work. It will help ensure that you have the right conversations about the job fit.
7. Be visionary. Don’t just focus on thinking about your next job. Set goals for your next ten years and then do a work back plan for how to get there including your next step. This will also make you more compelling to potential employers.
While stressful, successful professionals often report that their job search is deeply rewarding and a source of purpose. It is your choice.
If you are interested in hearing more from Aaron, download my recent podcast interview with him or listen on iTunes. Aaron explains how to use purpose to improve your fundraising, steer organisational change, and have greater impact as a leader. 30 minutes of inspiring and really useful tips.