Choosing a career path can be extremely stressful at any point in your life. You will spend almost a third of your life working; deciding how to spend that time matters.

Often, people have to make compromises between:

  • Personal Needs vs Professional Goals

  • Time with Family vs Time in Office

  • Social Good vs High Pay

  • Job Flexibility vs Workplace Demands

  • Having Fun vs Professional Status

  • Independence vs Job Security

  • Current Needs vs Future Needs

Balanced Approach

Ikigai

(pronounced e-key-guy )

Is a method for finding a life purpose, through answering 4 key questions, in any order:

  • What are you good at doing?

  • What do you love to do?

  • What can you be paid to do?

  • What does the world need?

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Quiz

What is missing from your career, if you feel uncertain or not secure in your role?

What the World Needs

What you Love

What you can be Paid For

What you are Good At

Ikigai Application

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Clementine

  • What are you good at doing?

    • Working independently, art, problem-solving

  • What do you love to do?

    • Creating things, helping people

  • What can you be paid to do?

    • Web designer, illustrator, product designer, artist, social media manager

  • What does the world need?

    • Accessible Information

    • Art and beauty

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Hiroshi

  • What are you good at doing?

    • Public speaking, leading people, entertaining others

  • What do you love to do?

    • Making people laugh, working in teams

  • What can you be paid to do?

    • Teacher, project manager, community organizer, actor, writer

  • What does the world need?

    • People who inspire others

    • Fun relaxing activities

Quiz

The government is hiring a remote worker to make posters that teach people how to wash hands effectively. Who would be the best candidate?

Hiroshi

Clementine

None of these

Self Assessment

Answer the questions below with YES or NO.

Flaticon IconWhat You Love

  • Are you truly passionate about what you do? Could you enthusiastically talk about your industry/profession for hours?

  • Are you emotionally connected to the result of your work?

  • If you won 5 million dollars, what work would you choose to do?

Flaticon IconWhat The World Needs

  • Are you helping to solve a problem? BONUS: Is your work directly/indirectly supporting The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals?

  • Is there a demand for what you have to offer? Are people willing to part with their resources (money, time, attention, etc.) to buy what you’re selling?

  • Will this work still be needed 10 years from now? How about 100 years from now? If not, will the value of your work today increase over time?

Flaticon IconWhat You Can Be Paid For

  • Have you been paid for what you do? Have you ever been paid for what you do? If not, are other people being paid for this work?

  • Are you already making a good living? Can you eventually make a good living doing different work?

  • Is there a healthy amount of competition in your industry? Are there other people who can do what you do, but better?

Flaticon IconWhat Are You Good At

  • Are you useful? Is what you do something that your friends/family/community have asked for your advice/opinion on before?

  • Are you among the best in your workplace/community at this? How about in your city? In your country? In the world?

  • With some more education and experience, could you master what you do?

If you answered YES to all the questions in a section, keep doing what you are doing and focus on changing your career to answer YES to the other areas.

Quiz

Which of these questions will NOT help you figure out, what the world needs?

What are fun activities?

What are the most in demand jobs?

How can I help people?

What are problems people face?

Take Action

What will you be doing next? Will it be practical?

This table can give you a sense of both what the world needs and what you can get paid for.

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You may find balance through a mix of volunteering, hobbies, and other activities.

This will require time, thought, and self-awareness but the results will be worth it!

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This Byte has been authored by

KD

Kassie Dwarika

Director of Content Programs | Debate Coach