We become so invested and focused on the destination that we often neglect the bits in the middle. The moments that really matter.
Our career moves quickly, but the best parts of any journey and any experience surely are the moments between all the organisation. The getting there. The in transit moments. The not knowing.
We’re often consumed with the idea of ‘something else better out there’. The truth is that most of us are never fully present in the now. Most of us are running so fast to get somewhere, we miss half the fun of getting there.
But the journey is where we learn, grow, mature, and become stronger, more awesome versions of ourselves. It is the most important part.
So instead of trying to reach our career goals as quickly as possible, we need to make it a priority to enjoy the journey itself by immersing ourselves in the process, and to make the most of every opportunity.
But when we talk about “meaningful career,” what do we actually mean?
Negotiating peace treaties, growing food, making spectacular amounts of money.
All of these examples can be framed as meaningful, depending on who is doing the framing, and what it is they truly want.
Your Career meaning isn’t something to be found, and it can’t be uncovered by heartfelt commitment, long hours, and self-sacrifice.
It is something we make and it constantly changes every single day.
Accepting that fact can transform what you choose to do with your career, but it can also transform the way you feel about what it is you already do.
So, look at your professional goals as a place you pass through at a certain time on the way to somewhere else.
It is a cliche to say that life is a journey, but it absolutely is. And work is no different.
Too many of us don’t spend enough time understanding why we are setting destinations.
We pick something and move forward. It’s not surprising that so many people feel burned out along the way, or even worse, unsatisfied when they get there.
Fulfillment, both personal and professional, requires more than just setting a goal.
Fulfillment requires purpose, and that in turn requires dedication to what you do and explore along the way.
Your career is like a treasure hunt, except you are not the person seeking the ultimate prize. You are writing the map.