When we receive a job offer, we typically receive a document that includes the standard fare: job title, salary, benefits, etc. But what if the compensation package included the following item in big bold letters:

You will learn about yourself. You will discover what's meaningful in life. Your clients and colleagues will be the teachers.

Probably not the kind of compensation package you had in mind. Would that benefit get your excitedly shaking fingers dialing your mom to share the great news? "Never mind the money, Mom, I'm going to be learning about myself!"

When I was a grad student—reflecting back on this, my 10 year reunion—I could not have predicted the immeasurable impact that my clients and colleagues would come to teach me. The ultimate compensation and on-the-job training. Here are a few things I'm grateful for learning on the job while working with my career coaching clients and colleagues.

1. While money/salary may be alluring, most of us actually place more value on experiences and relationships. While they are sometimes related, they are not mutually dependent. It is for each of us as individuals to understand what we value most, and then determine what it takes to live in alignment with those values.

2. Everybody has suffering, everybody has gifts, and everybody has a story. We'd be wise to use the energy of envy to instead discover these within ourselves.

3. We each have a purpose that will somehow be revealed. We can't force it, we must be open to receive it.

4. We thrive when we feel empowered to make our own choices. We work harder, more efficiently, and more passionately when we feel empowered to share our input.

5. Not all of us need to feel passionate about our jobs, as long as we can create meaning, fulfillment, and connection somewhere in our lives.

6. We all want to be heard and noticed, but the way in which we want that is different for each of us. If we make the effort to get to know this about each other, we will be rewarded with the compensation of respect.

7. Giving for the sake of giving will also be rewarded.

8. What feels like suffering and confusion now, is the foundation for confidence and clarity later.

9. We don't have to give up all of our other interests in order to pursue one path. Additionally, not all of us will feel like we have a singular path or calling  - There are no one-size-fits-all rules like that.

10. It's incredible what we can learn about ourselves when we have the opportunity to express our inner thoughts outwardly. Don't hold it all in, find your expression.

Like reading about life lessons and personal development? Check out my earlier article, 10 Traits of Emotionally Resilient People

(Image courtesy of textuts.deviantart.com)

Brad Waters, MSW provides career-life coaching and consultation to clients in Chicago and internationally via phone and Skype. He helps people explore career direction and take action on career transitions. Brad holds a Master's degree in social work from the University of Michigan and Master's certification in Holistic Health Care from Western Michigan University. Brad is also a personal development writer whose books are available on Amazon and BradWatersMSW.com

Copyright, 2014 Brad Waters. This article may not be reproduced or published without permission from the author. If you share it, please give author credit and do not remove embedded links.

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