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How do you know you are taking the right steps in your career?

I recently made a move - both in location and in a new role. The traditional view would be to look at this as a new chapter. But deep down I connected to it as something much deeper.

How do you know you are taking the right steps in your career?

Jamie Black is one of Hyper Island’s newest coworkers. His background and interests are hugely diverse – in terms of contribution, his focus can be broadly captured through global work in facilitation, strategy, and communications. He is now based in Stockholm, working at Hyper Island as a Learning Designer and Client Partner.

In a traditional view, my “book of life” would have many chapters. Many roles, many moves and a lot of change. Maybe your book has many chapters too, since how we define a “chapter” can vary quite a bit.

Each chapter could be time spent in a location or relationship. It could be based on a project or work commitment - or it could even be defined by a mindset or approach to life you held at a given time.

Boxes, labels, categories, and chapters compartmentalize things too much. I find it limiting and am not a fan of using them to describe who we are. Ultimately, we are not just one thing.

With this most recent move, the reflection I am having is this: the decisions and actions I have taken are not moments compartmentalized in time, they are a continuation of the vision I have held and the purpose I have been working with to date.

I recognize that words like vision and purpose come with a lot of baggage - whether you are thinking of them as an individual or someone inside your workplace. I will be candid in my experience with them.

  • Vision: Has been something I have long avoided as I felt it more important to be open to different trajectories and opportunities, then realizing one specific thing. The places I visioned for myself (both physically and mentally) have been hard to articulate, even though I may have felt a gravity towards them.
  • Purpose: This has been difficult. It’s the ultimate synthesis project of the question “why are you here?”, no literally “why are you here?”. It has taken me time to identify one for myself and over the last few years through reflection and building further self-awareness I have arrived in a confident place. I also recognize that its morphs and changes over time, as we do. It evolves and that is more than ok.

This move is feeling different for me. I am working with these new changes as more of continuation of who I am and why I am here, as opposed to, a specific chapter.

It was only possible to get here through a combination of what I would say was

reflection, sense-making, working with intuition and having a curiosity to explore - new places, skills, and ultimately roles.

The unknowns and uncertainties of life and work are challenging. Being up for the challenge allows for possibilities that you have envisioned for yourself or perhaps not yet imagined. When we look to take on a new role, join a new organization or take the steps to build a business there is common ground - we aspire to something else - something aligned better to who we are and why we are here.

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