Are You Growing Towards the Right Work for You?
When Karla came to me for coaching, she wasn't sure she was doing the work that was best for her. Karla liked her job. She liked the team of people she worked with. The company purpose mostly aligned with her personal values. Still, something wasn’t quite feeling right.
In recent weeks, I've been writing about the Dormant, Budding, and Blooming phases of our work lives. Karla is someone we would consider to be Budding.
People who are Budding are those who are still experiencing growth on the job. Yet, that growth is unfocused - a bit 'scatter-gun' and they're not sure it's leading to anything. They can do the job easily, and there's a risk of boredom. They are content in their job for now, but their feet are beginning to itch.
Karla was right there. Smack bang in the middle of the Budding phase. Like a plant in the Winter garden before Spring.
The thing about the Budding phase, is that it can go either way. There's a big risk of slipping back to being Dormant, or in garden terms, facing die-back. Being fruitless for the season.
Yet, there is the opportunity to go to full bloom when the conditions are right. And those conditions will be unique for each of us. Knowing what they are requires us to do deeper thinking and reflection. We need to uncover what the best work for us really is.
In his book The Purpose Path, Nicholas Pearce says “the time to act is not next week or next year. It is now.”
Pearce describes building a life (and work) of significance as vocational courage. I love this phrase. It is the most powerful description I have read, and has a depth of application to who we are as humans.
Pearce goes beyond the meaning of work. Vocational courage is “finding and pursuing your true purpose in life and about making sure your life’s work is reflected through your daily work.” It reminds me of Martin Seligman’s PERMA framework.
This, in my view, is when we reach full bloom.
For Karla, vocational courage meant doing some diagnostic exercises. Journaling about her reflections on work and life. Acting on the ideas she formed in coaching sessions, plus testing these in the workplace and at home. It meant assessing what really mattered to her, and how she could find more of that in her job.
Karla wanted to ensure she moved from Budding to Blooming.
Wherever you are right now in your work and life, I do hope you’re growing towards full bloom.