Growing up, I spent hours in the batting cage, perfecting my baseball swing just to be able to hit the ball perfectly. I remember how gratifying it felt when I struck the pitch with the “sweet spot” of my bat, and the ball flew off my bat into the field at a lightning pace like a missile. Even though my baseball career is over, I now help others experience that satisfying feeling of hitting the “sweet spot” in their career, catapulting them in a trajectory of freedom and fulfillment.
So you might be wondering: How do I experience my career “sweet spot”?
Here are three simple yet rich principles that we teach our clients at Apex to help them reach their career “sweet spot”.
1. Examine into what “set you on fire” in the past.
In order to ensure you are engaged at work, you must be working on solving a problem that matters to you or creating something you believe will benefit the world. How do you discover what that is for you? Well, this is where you need to listen to your “inner voice” telling you what success looks like. Every person’s definition of success looks different, and there is no cookie-cutter answer, so ask yourself: What moments in my life either exposed me to a problem that broke my heart or an experience that awoke my soul? It might be something tragic like seeing a loved one passing away or finding joy in winning a basketball game. Either way, think about what in that particular moment really made you come alive and more engaged in the present?
2. Engage in opportunities that are available to you in the present.
The only thing you have control over is how you engage in the present moment. With this truth in mind, it is important to make sure you know what is possible for you to do now. If you are looking to start your own business, what resources – whether that be connections, events, or experiences – are open for you to engage in? It could be as happenstance as a person you meet going grocery shopping or intentional as attending a conference you found through LinkedIn. If you are searching for a new job, what opportunities are you currently overlooking that, if you engage in, might teach you something about yourself, other people, or work that you never knew before? If you are looking for more fulfilment in your current role, what conversations, issues, or projects can you dive into that will bring you closer to your areas of interest?
3. Execute on what you want in the future.
With awareness of what makes you come alive from the past and taking advantage of opportunities in the present, you can start building the future you desire. When it comes to creating solutions for the world, the options are endless and there are many things to consider when it comes to work. What change do you want to bring about through your work? What do you want your work schedule to be like? What community do you want to invest in? How do you want to rest and recharge from work? What do you want others to experience, feel or believe? As you ponder these questions, you will then get a better sense of what you need to prioritize to accomplish the future you envision.
Being at your career “sweet spot’ does not happen overnight – it is a continual journey. There are things which happen to us along our career path outside of our control (difficult manager, being fired, etc.) that might make us adjust our vision of our “sweet spot” and force us to adjust our course of action. Wherever you are along the journey – whether you are still exploring what’s out there, ready to focus in some direction, or already working out your calling – these principles still apply in getting us closer to work that brings out our best selves.
APEX is a venture studio for vocations. We incubate, launch, and accelerate careers of meaningful work by aligning what people do with who they are. Through immersive coaching, workshops, and keynotes, we provide entrepreneurs, professionals, and students the experiences they need to know, lead, and scale their change, ultimately creating a world where every individual can find freedom and fulfillment in their work and organization can capitalize on innovation talent.