Introducing Ikigai: A Reason For Being
We’re in the middle of a full-blown Worldwide Employee Engagement Crisis, according to the research-based, global performance-management consulting company, Gallup. In a recent report, they revealed that only 15% of the world’s one billion full-time workers are enthusiastic about their work. So why do the remaining 85% of full-time workers around the world feel disengaged or downright hate their jobs?
Over the past decade, I’ve approached my career as an iterative process—with every subsequent job, I sought a little more of what I liked in my previous role, and little less of what I didn’t like. From the Canadian Armed Forces to Sony Music Entertainment, from the University of Toronto to Ryerson University—my career moves were governed by this rule. It was a helpful heuristic approach, but its outlook was too limited for my liking.
Then one day, I discovered the Ikigai framework, a simple and elegant solution for determining where you are in your career (in relation to your true calling) and uncovering what pivots to make based on a more long-term outlook.
Ikigai is a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being.” A reason to jump out of bed each morning. A reason to be pumped for Monday mornings instead of dreading them.
Over the latter half of my career, I’ve systematically answered questions associated with each of the Ikigai framework’s four sections (let’s call them “circles”) in order to discover my own reason for being:
Below are the questions for you to answer. Depending on what stage of life you’re at (studying, working, etc.) you can modify these questions to suit your current configuration of priorities.