Our deep desire should be the north star for our career strategy because this is what will give us true satisfaction and fulfillment. As we will see in this story of Magdalena, we are sometimes disconnected from this deeper desire and we follow predefined career pathways. We will see how Magdalena found her true career aspiration.
As teenager, Magdalena was a passionate athlete and was part of the national team in her discipline. Competition, performance, and camaraderie – this is what she felt passionate about. When she started her professional career in HR, she kept a close link to her sports club, although she could not continue to compete at the national level. In her job she specialized in personal development and became a certified business coach.
She could see a link between the challenges top athletes are confronted to and the challenges corporate leaders are facing. Just like athletes must prepare mentally and physically for competition to reach their top performance, managers must prepare for challenging situations the face. Just like an athlete, the leader has to have that self-awareness to know how to master high stress situations in order to be able to best cope with challenging business requirements.
But after 14 years of career in different large corporations, Magdalena had the increasing desire to return to her first love: the world of sports. She offered her sports club to use her expertise as corporate coach and made the constatation that she could easily transfer her professional expertise to sports. Two years later, a restructuring gave her the possibility to exit her company with a severance package. She became a freelancer and specialized in coaching for athletes. Today she is very successful and recognized in this field.
Today she is extremely happy that she could combine her passion for sports with her processional activity. Sometimes she wonders, if she should not have paid more attention to her deep desire already earlier. Maybe she could have made that step already earlier.
What can we learn from Magdalena’s story?
Magdalena never gave up trying to stay connected with this passion that she had since her childhood. She finally found a way to place this passion for sports back into the center of her professional activity. The voluntary leave plan was probably a rupture that made her think more deeply.
It is indeed sometimes difficult to connect to our deep desire, although it is of such important for us. The reason is that it is deeply rooted within us, and it is therefore sometimes a bit hidden. It is not something tangible. In addition, we are focused on what we need to achieve in the weeks and months to come. That makes us blind to our more deeply rooted aspiration.
Connecting to our deep desire therefore requires introspection and self-awareness. I would suggest reflecting about: What are you enjoying most? What offers you pleasure when you need to refill your batteries? What doesn’t cost much effort, because it is something you have a natural talent for?
You may also think back: What have you always been better at than your friends and classmates? What you are good at? What are your strengths? I don’t suggest doing that in a competitive sense, but in the sense of exploring what is the natural inclination that you have. This is usually directly connected to our deep desire, because we like what we are good at. A root worthwhile exploring!
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