A woman who is considering a career change

Could Ikigai Help You Find Job Perfection?

We’re going with “ee-ke-guy”.

If you could do any job, what would it be? 

What makes that job so appealing? 

What’s probably coming to mind are things like “it’s super-interesting”, “I’d get to make a difference” or “it’s what I do best.” Or even just “the money’s incredible”…

Combine them all, and that’s “Ikigai”: a framework (named for the Japanese for “a reason for being”) that could help you find your ideal career.  Here’s how it works.

The Ikigai Framework

The Ikigai framework is made up of four parts:

What you love

If you’re doing something you love, it often doesn’t feel like work.  It’s energizing, fun, and uplifting. What roles would do that for you?

What you’re good at

Most people have struggled at certain jobs – it can be dispiriting and frightening.  We want jobs we’re good at. So what are your main skills, and in which roles are they in demand?

What the world needs

Ah, the ‘what’s the point?’ question.  There’s no need to get too existential, but think: in your job, are you helping people?  Or solving problems that need fixing?  Will that still be the case five years from now?

What you can get paid for?

This is where the pragmatism kicks in.  Bills don’t pay themselves.  So ask yourself: does the work pay? If not, is there a way to make it do so? Or of making ends meet until it does?

How do you score?

Ikigai works just as well for grading what you might be missing in your current role, or for weighing up possible alternative career options.

Some people might have found their Ikigai.  They’re the lucky ones.  But we can all do it:  it’s about building off the ‘circles’ you already have nailed down, and looking for ways to complete the set.

That could involve changing career. But it could equally mean sticking with your current role, but just finding ways to focus more on the missing circles. Or adding in side-hustles, hobbies or volunteering to plug your iki-gaps.

What’s your Ikigai?