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—now reflecting back on my 10 years since graduation—I could not have predicted the immeasurable impact that my clients and colleagues would come to have upon 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 discover—early on and constantly thereafter—the barriers, gifts, and story within ourselves. We have the choice to craft that story and live it as our truth, rather than just being swept along the current of life and waiting for life to happen to us.
3. We each have a purpose that will somehow be revealed. We can't force it to happen, but we can witness the clues when they arise and be intentional about piecing together the mystery.
4. We thrive when we feel empowered to make our own choices and are given opportunity to share our voice. We work harder, more efficiently, and more passionately when we feel empowered to share our unique input.
5. Not all of us will feel passionate about our jobs but that doesn't mean we don't have fulfiling lives. We must each define and create meaning, fulfillment, and connection somewhere in our lives. That will fill our resilience cup when other parts of life feel draining.
6. We all want to be heard and noticed, but the way in which we want that is different for each of us. Some are bold and boisterous, others are reserved. If we make the effort to get to know and respect each other's individual style for navigating the world, we will be rewarded with a lifetime of meaningful relationships.
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 ever discover one singular path or calling. There are no one-size-fits-all rules like that and that's what makes us fascinating creatures.
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. Make your art.
Enjoy reading about life lessons and personal development? Check out my most popular article to date, 10 Traits of Emotionally Resilient People
Image source: textuts.deviantart.com/art/Life-Is-A-Work-of-Art-311714435
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
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