We get checkups for our health, our cars, and our appliances, why not also for our career? After all, a career is more than just the work you do—it’s the way you blend your strengths, passions, values, and interests into your days and years. It’s how you balance all the things that are important in your life.
Ideally, your work will be personally satisfying, engaging, pay a decent wage, and provide flexibility for other things.
When it comes to thriving in life, Gallup has identified five areas of well-being:
- Physical health
- Social / relationships
- Community (are you connected to those around you and do you feel safe and like where you live)
Gallup found that while 66% of people are doing well in at least one of these areas, only 7% of people are thriving in all five areas.
As a career counselor and coach, one of the biggest pain points I hear from my clients is that they don’t feel that their work is making a difference in the world. Often they feel like a cog in a machine, and they are afraid or uncertain about how to change that dynamic. They are missing a sense of purpose at work; a connection between their daily tasks and the larger community.
Using the Highlands Personal Vision Coaching Program, I help my clients take a more holistic approach to their lives and discover what will move them towards well-being. People often put a lot of pressure on themselves to have their work realm “check all the boxes” to help them feel fulfilled. But work alone is not the only important part of a life well-lived.
That’s why Highlands uses the Whole Person Method, which includes personal style, natural abilities, values, skills, interests, career development cycle, family, goals and more. Taking a step further beyond career and crafting a personal vision for your life allows you to sketch out steps in a way that is authentically in alignment with other realms of well-being, moving you along in your journey towards a more satisfying life.
This summer I began working with Barbara (name changed to respect her confidentiality) who has worked in a large international finance organization for five years. She reached out for career guidance because she felt boxed into her current role and didn’t know how she could do something different outside of her industry. Armed with objective feedback from our results interpretation session, she became more confident about her contributions in the workplace. She now understands how to communicate and leverage her skills, experience, and strengths in other contexts. Going through the additional work of crafting her personal vision, she has discerned that location, helping society, and job security are more of a priority for her than a high salary.
As I have accompanied her in diligently reflecting and setting goals, she has kept her eye on the horizon, thinking about the roles, environments, and functions she will thrive in professionally and how to balance her interests outside of work. Her vision for her future has expanded—she no longer feels boxed in and without direction.
Like Barbara, many clients are clear about what they don’t want. They know which direction they’d like to avoid. The path forward is seldom as clear. Those who invest the time and energy to intentionally craft their personal vision deeply appreciate the payoff. And it is a privilege and a joy for me to be a part of that process and journey. I hope you’ll consider contacting me for a career checkup.
Jennifer Landis-Santos is a career counselor and leadership coach with a background in mental health. She is committed to human being development and passionate about helping clients clarify, plan, and move towards their best selves. Jennifer began her career in Chicago working as a bilingual therapist with witnesses of domestic violence. Interested in how our society can use career to increase individual well-being, Jennifer worked as a fellow at the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University and transitioned into career counseling.
The Career Wellness Checkup offers professionals and students the opportunity to understand their strengths and how to leverage them in a variety of settings. Learn more on their website or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.