The “Not-So-Secret” Secret to a Fulfilling Career
It is not unusual to feel unhappy and unfulfilled at some point with your work. At times, you will tend to feel that your career’s progress is completely out of your control.
You may think you’re alone in this, but this is a common issue that plagues Filipino professionals. In the latest Philippine Job Happiness Index survey1, Filipinos scored an average of 4.98 out of 10 in terms of job satisfaction. In that study conducted by Jobstreet and SEEK Asia, key reasons why Filipinos are unhappy with their career include (1) the absence of training opportunities and (2) a lack of career development.
To quote the study, they found that the unhappiest of workers are those who are properly educated but are “still striving to fulfill their dreams” – employees who are perfectly capable of more, but feel that they haven’t reached their full potential.
While it’s acceptable to feel frustrated with your job, continuously feeling unfulfilled is not healthy for you in the long run.
You have more power than you think
If you think about it, this unhappiness may be nudging you to shift your perspective, and to realize that you have more control over your career than you think.
Learning and development are closely related to career fulfillment. If you need to gain a sense of happiness at work, it is important to rely less on your company, or your boss, to shape your development goals. Only you can determine the life you want, and the value you seek to bring to the table. Only you can curate the learning journey that will get you to where you want to be.
To turn this concept into reality, we sat down with Gayle Guzman. She works as an Assistant Vice President for Finance in Pilmico Foods Corporation, the food business of the Aboitiz Group.
She also regularly goes to Singapore to work with Gold Coin Management Holdings, a Singapore-based company that was recently acquired by Pilmico.
Above all that, she is also a happily married woman who maintains a gorgeously curated Instagram travel account that she’s quite proud of.
In this article, she shares with us practical wisdom that keeps her fulfilled, happy, and open to new growth opportunities at work, and in life.
Build bigger islands
When we asked Gayle how she achieved her professional success these past few years, she tells us it’s all about “building bigger islands”. In other words, it is about taking the necessary steps to seek out your goals, broadening your horizons, and improving yourself. That way, you are actively looking for opportunities, and you’ll be ready once they come around.
Know what you want
“Mental pictures are very powerful,” she says. The only way you will know if you are moving towards your dream is to have a definite idea of what that dream is in the first place. As Gayle says, “Start with the end in mind. Goals without direction are nothing but a daydream.”
She suggests not only having one big goal to strive towards, but setting smaller goals as milestones as well. “Nothing is ever so big and so overwhelming to accomplish,” she says. We only need to break it down into smaller pieces. By taking it one step at a time, we’ll soon find ourselves at our goal, wondering how we ever found it so daunting in the first place.
Curate your “Triple E’s”
Next, Gayle presents a quirky idea. She talks about how one’s life should be curated like an Instagram feed. Most of us give so much time and effort to ensure that every single post is aligned with the rest of our feed. Gayle reasons that the same should be true of our professional journey. Every single step we take must be aligned with our end goal. As Gayle fondly says, we need to curate our “Triple E’s”.
These E’s stand for Education, Exposure, and Experiences. Each is essential to progressing in your career goal.
- Continuously educate yourself, and equip yourself with knowledge and wisdom
- Expose yourself to people and influences that will take you to where we need to go
- Go for experiences that will train you to become better.
Your Triple E’s are not something that will appear to you by luck or chance. They are driven and maintained by your initiative. “You should take it upon yourself to drive your career,” Gayle elaborates. “If you are not given the chance [to grow your Triple Es], find that chance.”
Do your homework. Communicate with your leader about what exactly your goals are. Chase after the opportunities that come along, no matter how small they seem. The difference between those who achieve their dreams and those who don’t is the amount of work they put into it.
Whatever you are doing, be passionate about it
At this point, Gayle expresses an unpopular opinion. “Stop running after your passion,” she reminds us. This seems counterintuitive at first. How can you fulfill your dreams if you stop chasing after what you love? “The difficulty of following your heart is that if you do not have a goal, your heart will lead you all over the place,” she explains.
Going to where your heart leads you can only take you so far. Instead of blindly running after your passions, Gayle advises to find your passion wherever you are. “Whatever you are doing, be passionate about it,” she says. “and when you’ve learned enough, move on and bring that passion with you.”
While always having your end goal in your mind’s eye, it’s important to stay passionate about every step of the way there. You may not be where you want to be yet, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be giving it your all right now. No matter how far you are in your journey from the end, you owe it to yourself to be completely present and devoted to where you are.
It’s your journey – take control of it
When working in a corporate setting, signs of progress in your career growth can seem few and far between. However, it’s not as out of your control as you think. The secret to achieving your professional dreams is this: it is all self-driven.
It is up to you to set your own goals – both the bigger picture and the smaller milestones along the way. You can curate your education, exposure, and experiences so that they align with your dream. Never be afraid to seek out opportunities to learn and better yourself. Lastly, you can find passion in where you are right now – no matter where you are, give it your all. Remember that with growth, the journey is just as important as the end goal.
Career growth is a self-driven endeavor which the Aboitiz Group knows by heart. In Aboitiz, we strive to create an environment where professional development and personal growth take the front seat.
Our culture enables team members to explore various roles in different business units, and empowers them to grow without boundaries.
Would you like to join a company that prioritizes your growth? Join our Talent Community and start your career journey with Aboitiz. https://bit.ly/2otmLCG
2 Photo from Pilmico’s Thrive Fest