Michelangelo and your Career Success

When we start the day we want to feel excited and motivated and inspired about what’s in store for us. We want to feel energized by the work we’re going to do, where we’re going to do it and who will be impacted by the value we bring. We want all our cylinders burning to fill the day with meaning and accomplishment. Unless those feelings are present in us when our feet touch the floor as we get out of bed, it’s a sure thing that the day will be unrewarding…and the one after that…and the one after that.

Many people have a handle on the type of tasks they want to perform. However, they are less clear about what truly lights their career fire; what ignites their true talents. It’s going through the motions knowing that there is something more meaningful you’d rather be doing but getting your arms around what that is feels like being in a fog. Although what motivates us to live our passion and feel satisfaction are often unconscious, they nonetheless make their presence known to us by that persistent sense that there is something better, something more meaningful that is “me” and that I’d rather be doing that but I’m not sure what that is. This is the reason why a raise or a pat on the back for a job well done are momentary and it doesn’t take long to re-experience the rumblings that we’re not doing our life work. It’s easier to focus on our work-related skills and competencies that are more within our grasp but true satisfaction comes from getting in touch with our self-defining motivations and interests that lie right below the surface of our consciousness.

According to Michelangelo, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” And, there’s greatness in each one of us but it has to be carved out through hard work. You have to  chip off all extraneous matter to get to your true motivations and interests and ultimately your unique self.

To apply Michelangelo’s creativity to your own career success:

  • Reflect on your current job. Chip away the parts of your work that are boring, frustrating, and unexciting so you come to know them more clearly as what you don’t want do be doing in your life’s work.
  • Just as Michelangelo expressed what could be when he said, “The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has,” you want to be be able to describe your ideal career in which your unique talents and abilities will shine.
  • Michelangelo cautioned that, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” To achieve meaningful career success necessitates not only setting goals but doing the hard work to realize our goals, such as, redoing the outdated resume, identifying job targets that are in synch with the work we want to do, jump starting our network of connections, and creating a job search strategy that we hold ourselves accountable to.
  • We must be persistent in designing a meaningful career. As the master advised, “There is no greater harm than that of time wasted.” And, we all know intimately the toll that doing work that is not truly us takes on ourselves and our families.
  • “Genius is eternal patience,” wrote Michelangelo, and doing the hard work of identifying what naturally motivates and interests us ultimately pays off.



Schedule a FREE 15-minute career consultation with Certified Professional Career Coach Garrison Leykam to discuss identifying your career motivations and interests:   https://calendly.com/garrison-1 



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