I’ve been reading a fascinating book on the social, emotional and environmental causes of depression and anxiety. Lost Connections, by Johann Hari draws on years of research to show that depression is often a reasonable response to prolonged challenges in life circumstances. As a career and leadership coach, I was particularly intrigued by the research that shows an absence of meaningful work over time can cause depression and anxiety.
It turns out that integrating what matters to you in your career and life is of utmost importance if you want to stay healthy. The disconnection from meaningful work is made worse if you feel you have no control to change things. Re-connection starts by regaining your sense of control over your own destiny. You can do that by identifying your intrinsic motivators and finding ways to act based on those motivations.
Intrinsic motivators are the things you do purely because you value and enjoy doing them, without expectation of a reward. It’s often easier to identify intrinsic motivators in our personal lives – a hobby you enjoy, playing with your kids or pets, engaging in conversation with a friend. Conversely, extrinsic values are the things you do because you’ll get something in return (recognition, money, etc). Connecting the dots between intrinsic motivators and your career can be a challenge. And yet it’s essential to finding meaningful work.
As an example, a lot of my clients are lawyers who often focus on extrinsic rewards to make their career decisions – compensation, reputation, awards and recognition – rather than delving into the tougher questions of personal meaning and values. This is understandable when money is tight and jobs scarce. Yet even senior lawyers and other professionals who hold secure positions commonly sacrifice intrinsic values to extrinsic rewards, and thereby sacrifice their happiness and well-being as a result.
Here’s a little secret: The best person to help you find more meaningful work happens to be you!
If you are a lawyer seeking a career change and want to learn more about how to create a more sustainable and meaningful future, check out our new Career Navigator for Lawyers – Online Career Transition and Job Search Strategies.
This three month self-directed program will introduce you to a variety of assessments, tools and learning activities so that you can build your career plan from the inside out. By the end, you will understand what it will take to make a living doing what you truly enjoy.
But that’s not all…
The program also includes strategic advice, tips and resources for navigating an effective job search beyond responding to job postings. You will learn the importance of conducting field research, developing target organizations and communicating your pitch in your own words.
Your career is more than just your job. This program is a first step in reconnecting you to more meaningful work.
Sign up this month to take advantage of the early bird rate.
Early-bird fee: $299
EARLY-BIRD DEADLINE: December 1st, 2020