Career Strategy: Connecting to your DEEP DESIRE

Our deep desire should guide us on the definition of our career strategy. But we are often disconnected from it. This video shows why and offers some simple approaches how to connect back to our deep desire.

I would like to outline here in greater detail what I mean by deep desire. I have used this concept in some of my previous articles and videos. This will be in 4 steps:

1) Definition of deep desire

I would say that the deep desire is like a source of energy that is coming from deeply within us. In that sense it is like oil that is coming from far below the surface of the earth.

Except that the deep desire is very specific to each one of us and that it has a direction. It has a purpose. In that sense it is like a vector. It is a source of energy that has a direction.

Heavy Equipment on Body of Water Under Blue and White Cloudy Skies

2) Challenges to connect to our deep desire

Why is it sometimes a bit difficult to connect to our deep desire if it is so important for us? What I would first like to point out is that it is coming from deeply within us, so it is a bit hidden and we need to find a way to access it. But secondly we have a skilled incompetence that is making it a bit more difficult for us. This concept of the skilled incompetence has been developed by Chris Argyris (On organizational learning, 1993).

Image result for Chris Argyris, On organizational learning, 1993

Basically what it means is that we have become so good at problem solving that we have become a bit incompetent in our ability to connect to our deep desire. When we wake up in the morning, we have the agenda of the day in our mind. And we probably know what we need to achieve in the weeks and months to come. But we have difficulties to connect back to our deep desire. This is why I would like to propose a few simple ways to access our deep desire again.

3) Ways to access our deep desire
What are my day dreams about?

The first ways to access our deep desire is introspection. And we can use leisure time for reflection and introspection. Those who are practicing meditation, know that this is another great way to do so.

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But there are many moments during the day (when we are playing sports, when we are under the shower or when we are relaxing) when we have these day dreams. And these day dreams go in the direction of our deep desire. And therefore I would suggest paying attention to them. Usually we don’t. We forget them straight away.

If you pay attention to these day dreams and if you explore them a bit further by “open a few of the doors” that are there (I mean by exporting options that these day dreams offer), you will see that this is a very good way to accessing your deep desire.

What are you good at?

Secondly, I would suggest thinking about what you are good at; what you enjoying; what are you have always been better than other at doing. I don’t suggest doing that in a competitive sense, but in the sense of exploring what is the natural inclination that you have? What doesn’t cost much effort, because it is something you have a natural talent for? This is usually also connected to our deep desire, because we like what we are good at. I would therefore suggest expiring that root as well.

Woman in Gray Cardigan Playing a Violin during DaytimePeople Doing Marathon

What did I aspire to as a kid?

Thirdly, you might have noticed that kids are usually pretty clear about what they want in their lives. When you ask them that question they can tell you what kind of jobs they want to have, what kind of lives they aspire to, who the people are they admire and whose example they want to follow. Therefore it might be worthwhile thinking back at what were those dreams we had when we were kids, because again, that is pointing in the direction of our deep desire. All of that is very relevant for our career strategy.

Three Children Wearing Face Masks

4) Relevance of the deep desire for our career strategy

Our deep desire is actually very much connected to the vision for our career development. We should put that into the very center of our career strategy. This will not only help us defining where we want to go and what we want to achieve, it will probably also open up a clearer understanding on what the steps are to get there.

Brown Wooden Stairs on Body of Mountain

What is important to know is that this may take us out of a purely vertical career progression. Such a vertical career progression might be the pathway that you would follow without being more deeply connected to you desire.

One you will have put you are connected back to you deep desire, once you have put your deep desire back into the center, new options might open up. Creative potential that you have might be unleashed and that might help to explore also alternative roots to a predefined vertical career track.

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Whatever the direction you take, being connected to your deep desire will help you to have a clearer and more robust career strategy.

More information in my book:

Sven Sommerlatte : Successful Career Strategy – An HR Practitioner’s Guide to Reach Your Dream Job (Springer, June 2023).  ISBN: 978-3-662-66790-3

Click here to find my book


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