You have seen the figure I posted in previous blogs - 80000 hours spent in a "working career"...based on the following: 40 hours a week X 50 weeks = 2000 hours X 40 years = 80000. Note this number is low in certain cases where a person consistently works more than 40 hours per week...it is meant as a barometer...the discussion for why it consistently exceeds 40 hours per week is for a later blog about work/life balance...
With that said, let's break our 80000 hour career journey into quarters (10 year increments or 20000 hours)...
Q1 = just out of high school, college, vocational school and doing an "adult job"...
Q2 = settled - getting bored. Pivot? Calling?
Q3 = BEYOND settled - down-right antsy to do something else. Pivot? Calling?
Q4 = A MAJOR TRANSITION. Pivot? Settle into encore career? Calling?
A Note About Calling...
Perhaps you noticed the term "Calling" did not come up until Q2 and beyond...that's no accident! Generally people do not zero in on their calling OR listen to their calling until they experience one quarter in "the real world", throw caution to the wind and break free to focus on their calling! SEE A Calling -VS- A Job blog for more validation.
In ANY quarter you can expect this type of emotional rollercoaster: ANTICIPATION; FRUSTRATION; PROGRESSION; COMPLACENCY...
Your continued opportunity will be to EXPECT this emotional rollercoaster! Your objective should be to BREAK THROUGH the frustration phase and PROGRESS. When that occurs, you SHOULD expect COMPLACENCY to set in eventually...when that happens, a good coach, leader, mentor will hopefully be around to snap you out of this last phase...if not, it will eventually lead to a new cycle of ANTICIPATION; FRUSTRATION; PROGRESSION; COMPLACENCY...
Maslow was onto something...
How does this relate to Abraham Maslow? Well, Maslow (1943) formulated a more positive account of human behavior which focused on what goes right. He was interested in human potential, and how we fulfill that potential. He stated that human motivation is based on people seeking fulfillment and change through personal growth. Self-actualized people are those who were fulfilled and doing all they were capable.
The growth of self-actualization (Maslow, 1962) refers to the need for personal growth and discovery that is present throughout a person’s life. For Maslow, a person is always 'becoming' and never remains static in these terms. In self-actualization a person comes to find a meaning to life that is important to them. As each person is unique the motivation for self-actualization leads people in different directions (Kenrick et al., 2010). For some people self-actualization can be achieved through creating works of art or literature, for others through sport, in the classroom, or within a corporate setting.
The original hierarchy of needs five-stage model...
1. Biological and Physiological - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.
2. Safety - protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.
3. Love and belongingness - friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).
4. Esteem - achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, respect from others.
5. Self-Actualization - realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.
Over time, there were a few other categories added beyond stage 4:
5. Cognitive - knowledge and understanding, curiosity, exploration, need for meaning and predictability.
6. Aesthetic - appreciation and search for beauty, balance, form, etc.
And one more beyond Self-Actualization:
8. Transcendence - helping others to achieve self actualization.
Dare we align aspects to the hierarchy to one's career?
Characteristics of self-actualizers:
1. Perceive reality efficiently and tolerate uncertainty;
2. Accept themselves and others for who they are;
3. Spontaneous in thought and action;
4. Problem-centered (not self-centered);
5. Unusual sense of humor;
6. Able to look at life objectively;
7. Highly creative;
8. Resistant to enculturation, but not purposely unconventional;
9. Concerned for the welfare of humanity;
10. Capable of deep appreciation of basic life-experience;
11. Establish deep satisfying interpersonal relationships with a few people;
12. Peak experiences;
13. Need for privacy;
14. Democratic attitudes;
15. Strong moral/ethical standards.
Behavior leading to self-actualization:
(a) Experiencing life like a child, with full absorption and concentration;
(b) Trying new things instead of sticking to safe paths;
(c) Listening to one's own feelings in evaluating experiences instead of the voice of tradition, authority or the majority;
(d) Avoiding pretense ('game playing') and being honest;
(e) Being prepared to be unpopular if your views do not coincide with those of the majority;
(f) Taking responsibility and working hard;
(g) Trying to identify your defenses and having the courage to give them up.
The characteristics of self-actualizers and the behaviors leading to self-actualization are shown in the list above. Although people achieve self-actualization in their own unique way, they tend to share certain characteristics. Self-actualization is a matter of degree. Maslow concluded "There are no perfect human beings." (Maslow,1970a, p. 176).
It is not necessary to display all 15 characteristics to become self-actualized, and not only self-actualized people will display them. Maslow did not equate self-actualization with perfection. Self-actualization merely involves achieving ones potential. Thus, someone can be silly, wasteful, vain and impolite, and still self-actualize.
So how does this relate to the 80000 Career Journey?
As Maslow found in his research, a person is always 'becoming' and never remains static in these terms. In self-actualization a person comes to find a meaning to life that is important to them. As each person is unique the motivation for self-actualization leads people in different directions (Kenrick et al., 2010).
Be open to your evolving career journey and support your loved ones and co-workers through theirs!
My best to your quest!
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted relationships where individuals, teams and leaders NAME, CLAIM and AIM their gifts to achieve optimum performance.
Source: McLeod, S. A. (2016). Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
About Mark Myette
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted
Based out Roam - Buckhead - 3365 Piedmont Rd NE, Suite 1400 (2nd Floor), Atlanta, GA 30305
Can meet at other Roam locations if appropriate: Alpharetta; Dunwoody; or Galleria