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Why Work??

Annabelle Kirwan FAHRI

As I wind down my working life and my career, I have realised that I have been blessed to work in a career that I have loved. It has interested me to observe so many individuals letting the working world push them along instead of leading their own direction.

So why do we work, of course Maslow’s Hierarchy helps us to understand our initial physiological needs, but how can some clearly know how to grow and develop their career and others mmmm not so much. I have helped many individuals through career coaching, and I thought I would share some of my observations.

Do you understand your strengths? I have found that psychometrics (profiling and associated programs) can help us to understand ourselves. There are so many assessments out there, and I probably have done most of them. I have found the information handy, confirming my own ideals. They have also helped me to consider my growth and learning areas.

What are you known for? Are you a can-do person, a problem solver, the planner, the team builder. Or a don’t know, then ask. I have always asked for feedback, which can be through formal 360 surveys, or just informal questions to my team and my managers, “how is this working for you?”, “What would you like to see more or less of”. Feedback may not always be positive, but how do you know how to be adaptive unless you know where how to change or develop?

Define your motivation! This helps to ensure you are working in the right industry and the right role. My motivation was always in the social/health industry and with my team. If my team could grow and develop, I believed I was successful. Yours may be recognition, creativity, or inclusion. Understanding yourself is imperative to why we work and why we enjoy our work. Having a working environment aligned to your motivations will help with your growth and development.

What challenges you? We all have egos we need to massage and grow, so if we can identify what challenges us, we can find ways to take on these challenges and make yourself proud/happy and feel that you are recognised.

Have friends or a coach who is honest with you? When you decide to get yourself a career coach, ensure you do your research to make sure the coach aligns with your needs and values. My coaching style was always to help individuals be pushed a little out of their comfort zone. I have helped individuals to grow and develop to the next level of their career, but I acknowledge this is not the style suited to all. Have individuals around you who are honest with you; you need to trust them.

So why do we work? For some it’s because we have to meet our daily needs. For others it’s because they are looking for recognition, control, and growth. It’s important for you to discover why you work and what success looks like.

Then you’ll be able to look back on your career and say, ‘Hey I did alright.’

Consider what you need to be leading your career.

Macarthur Human Capital: Unleashing the competitive edge, driven by people


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