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Designing and Building a Meaningful Career

How design thinking can help to reshape your career

In the past two years I have focused more than ever in identifying my purpose and seeking opportunities to align my that with my career.

Last year I did design thinking exercise to reflect on my career. Although I was making good progress in terms of working on projects aligned with the skills I wanted to develop and bringing my passion about wellness and work-life balance to my job, I was not completely focused on the changes I needed to make.

I realized I needed structure and accountability to push myself outside of my comfort zone and focus on my next career endeavors. I learned about Mission Collaborative and the Career Design Fellowship and viewed it as a great opportunity to rethink my career priorities to achieve more fulfillment and success.

When researching about the fellowship program, I realized that Mission Collaborative has a compelling mission, great reviews and a well structured program. According to Grant Schroll, o Mission Collaborative CEO & CoFounder:

"Too many people spend years of their lives working in careers they hate. Our mission is to help people design careers they love so they can make their fullest contribution to the world."

Using Design Thinking to Find Purpose and Redesign Your Career
How to Design and Build a Meaninghful Career

Here is how the career design fellowship has helped me:

1. Structures and frameworks to boost creative thinking

The multiple exercises provided by the fellowship program helped me to better understand my top strengths, key skills and how I like (or not) to use them, and identify my lifestyle priorities.

I was also able to reflect on the limiting beliefs that were preventing me to move faster towards a purposeful career.

2 Resources to help research different career paths that align with your values

One of the most impactful activities was designing potential career paths based on my values and aspirations.

I have multiple interests, like strategy & analytics, wellness & balance, people development & diversity, equity, inclusion, start-ups & non-profits.

My current job is a portion of my career, to achieve fulfillment, I would need to focus on multiple projects.

When reflecting on potential career paths I was able to identify multiple areas of interest and potential roles that could combine multiple of them.

3. Accountability partner and team meetings for outside of the box thinking

A key highlight of the fellowship program was the ability to meet with a small team every week to reflect and discuss the exercises.

I realized that in general people are bolder to empower others to take more ambitious and risky career moves than to make such decisions for their own careers.

For example, I would spend way more time developing plans for safe career moves - same skills in different industries or different skills in the same company - than on risky ones.

My team helped me to realize that, when they suggested that I should venture on doing more interviews for my blog and potentially podcasts.

Team help you with accountability and outside of the box thinking
Accountability Partner and Team Meetings for Career Redesign

4. Connection with people from various sectors willing to share experiences

One of the components of the fellowship is access to a community of people who have participated in multiple cohorts. It's like a social network for like minded professionals.

I wanted to learn more about getting involved in non-profits boards and I had multiple people sharing their experience and what it takes to get involved.

5. Design thinking methodology to identify and test new career paths and find job opportunities

I am a big fan of design thinking. I use it in my job to develop human-centric solutions and I have used it to reflect and redesign my career a couple of times.

What I like the most about the methodology is the ability to test your hypothesis and strategy before looking for the next job or embarking on a career change.

In my case, I decided to evaluate if my passion for people development, engagement, diversity and inclusion could be more than a 'plus one' in my career. Thus I scheduled virtual coffees with some of my connections to understand about careers in coaching and people development.

Impact of the career design fellowship in my life

The fellowship renewed my energy to focus on this blog. As you probably have noticed, I have been doing Videocasts almost every week and always learn from the guess.

I also moved to the people analytics practice within my organization and I am currently working with a non-profit on a diversity and inclusion project which has been very meaningful work.

My journey is just in the beginning and I'll be driving more change in the following months and sharing all my progress here.

If you are not happy or fulfilled in your career, you think you need a change and you don't know where to start, the Mission Collaborative Career Fellowship program can help you to get unstuck and to design a meaningful career.

What about you Divas? What are your strategies to design a meaningful career? Leave your comment on Twitter or Facebook.

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