If you subscribe to my weekly newsletter, The Hump Day Digest, then you will know that I have been working on a new project that will allow me to serve you better, on your journey to feeling fulfilled in your career.
The Career Fulfilment Framework is based on years of reflection, study and talking to my clients about their career goals. This has allowed me to delve deep into the elements that contribute to fulfilment and consider how each of these elements (or pillars as I call them) can be tweaked, massaged and adapted to achieve employment nirvana. In this post, I am sharing an overview of The Career Fulfilment Framework and in coming weeks I will be going deep with each of the stages and pillars to talk about how you can ensure that you are completely aligned with your career goals.
The Career Fulfilment Framework is organised into three stages, each with three pillars that support your journey. You may find that you need to put work into all of the pillars, or perhaps just a few. As I roll out more and more details, we will also talk about how you will know which pillars need your attention, but for now, let’s jump straight into exploring the basics of The Career Fulfilment Framework!
You can’t build a house without solid foundations and similarly, you need strong foundations to achieve career fulfilment. Stage 1 is all about doing the internal work and although that can be tough, it is an integral part of achieving your career goals.
Believe it or not, your health is a huge part of being happy and satisfied in your work. If you don’t take care of yourself physically, you will find it difficult to effectively manage challenges and to really show up when it counts. Prioritising your health isn’t difficult, but it is often the first thing we give up when we are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, overworked or anxious. This is why it pays to put plans in place to ensure that your health doesn’t take the backseat – think of it as a preventative measure.
Just like your physical health, it is important that you take care of your mind and your mindset. You can work your tail off and strive towards your goals as much as you please, but if you have an unhealthy mindset, you won’t get very far. I could go as far as saying that whatever you put out to the universe, you attract, but if that doesn’t resonate with you just think about how much a bad mood or attitude can set you off track.
Productivity and systems? How does that contribute to your career fulfilment? Well, you need to make time and space for it. This includes incorporating routines into your life to reduce decision fatigue and to create pockets of time (and freedom!) to work on your career. In Pillar 3, we consider systems and productivity tools that you can use both at work and at home, to make your dream career a reality.
Stage 2 is all about your job. It considers your current role, but also the type of work you do, and the industry you work in. In Stage 2, a lot of people believe that they just need to accept what is, and that they are powerless to change. This feeling of powerlessness can create a feeling of dissatisfaction, which is often the catalyst for people leaving their roles prematurely.
I’d be a fool to say that you can improve all of the pillars in Stage 2 on your own, but I fully believe in exploring your options and attempting to make the most of your situation before making the decision to move on. If a new job is what it is going to take though, then best believe I will support you through the process of identifying the right role for you, and then going out and securing it.
The environment is where you work. This could include the physical location, the style of working environment and your comfort level. Environment is sometimes tricky, but there are ways to create change where it is needed, whether that be in the environment itself, or your mindset – the stock you have in making your environment perfect.
Pillar 5 is your team and culture and this is so incredibly important to career fulfilment. I know myself that I want to work with people who bring out the best in me. People who have similar values and who are willing to strive towards common goals. Above all, I love working with people who know how to have fun. The company culture is similar. We all want to work for a company that has a positive, healthy culture, not one where people are nasty or backstab each other. A company that also shares similar values and supports your ongoing needs as a valued employee.
Empowerment is an inherent desire for a lot of us. We want to feel empowered in the workplace, to make decisions, take ownership of our work, grow confidence and have control of our career direction. Although difficult to measure, empowerment is often the opposite of micro-management or mistrust. The real trick to empowerment is that you have to earn it. You need to prove that you are interested in the success of the organisation, you can take accountability for results and you will not misuse any additional responsibility or authority you earn through the empowerment process.
Wanting to feel fulfilled by your work? Check out the Career Fulfilment Framework!
Stage 3 is all about the rewards and this is usually where most people focus their attention when it comes to job satisfaction or career fulfilment. There’s nothing wrong with that – the pillars in Stage 3 do need to be addressed. I just usually find that work needs to be done in the other stages first, especially for those of us who are chasing those fulfilling feels, not just the next buck.
Your salary is often a significant contributor to how fulfilled you feel. You want to know that you are being paid fairly for the work you do and that you are not being taken advantage of. Nobody enjoys that feeling. But salary isn’t the only benefit you can receive for working, and I find this is where most people need to open their minds. I have spoken before about negotiating extra leave instead of a pay rise. I have also negotiated reduced working hours. Other benefits could include allowances, flexible working conditions, a company vehicle, paid development opportunities or a range of other things. In this pillar we explore what is most important to you and your overall happiness.
Pillar 8 is your expertise. This relates to your growth and development with your employer, confidence that there is a path for you to follow (whether with your current employer or within the industry you work) and that you are adequately challenged. The level of challenge required can vary from person to person, but I have worked with a lot of clients who get paid well and have great benefits, but feel a lack of fulfilment due to how easy the work is. Where there is not enough challenge, you will feel bored and over time, unsatisfied.
The final pillar is all about the feels. This is the pillar that came up the most in the comments I received from my recent career fulfilment survey. Some of the comments included “meaningful work”, “work that I am passionate about”, “helping others”, “doing something I feel is purposeful”, “making a difference” and “feeling like I am contributing”. Whether you are called to help others or your passion comes solely from your desire to do work that you enjoy, it doesn’t really matter. In Pillar 9 we explore your passions and ensure that are aligned in the work you do!
So, that’s it my friends! A first look at my Career Fulfilment Framework. Is it obvious to you which pillars you need to work on as a priority? Jump into the comments section and let’s talk about it!