Ikigai is a concept that comes from Japan and means “reason for being”.  In this article I will not go deep into the philosophical background of it, my goal is to share more of a Westernised version of it and how it can help each of you to find your career path.

The concept of Ikigai is mostly used to find the perfect career direction. Dream career includes these four aspects:

  1. you do what you love;
  2. you do what you are good at;
  3. you do what the world needs;
  4. you do what you can be paid for.

You can see in the diagram below how all these four parts interact and overlap.

The central point where all the parts overlap is your Ikigai. 

If you are currently working but you feel that you are no longer as satisfied as you were before, if you are looking for a new career path but you feel a bit stuck, might be that you haven’t yet found all the answers to four questions or maybe not all the parts of your Ikigai are fulfilled. Here are some guidelines that can help:

  • if you haven’t done it yet, think about and write down what are the most values for you;
  • answer the question “what do you love to do?” – what tasks you enjoy doing, when do you lose track of time. What would you do for work if it wasn’t for the money?
  • answer the question “what are you good at?” – what practical or social skills you have, what other people praise you for?
  • answer the question “what the world needs from you? – What problems in the world do you want to solve? will there still be a demand of your skills in the future?
  • answer the question “what can you be paid for?”- have you seen examples of people getting paid for the same work? Can you have a good living doing what you want to do?
  • when answering questions mentioned above, let yourself fantasise, brainstorm, write down even the most crazy ideas that come to your mind;
  • when you have all the notes, start analysing what all your answers have in common, in what activity you could actually combine all of that.

Ikigai can be a great tool to find a perfect path for your career. You can use it on your own or you can seek the assistance of a professional coach who will help you unleash your potential. No matter which way you choose, I wish you to find your Ikigai. If you already have – congratulations! 

With best wishes for growth,
Your thinking partner online, in France (Savoie), Switzerland (Geneva region)