A friend of mine (Jason Jones) has begun frequently posting about finding his ikigai. At first, I thought “he seems pretty excited about it, so good for him.”
But the posts kept coming so then I needed to what ikigai was so I could know if I needed to be looking for it too. I will answer that in a second.
It is a Japanese concept that translates to “reason for being”. It is commonly depicted as a Venn diagram of four circles where the intersection is your reason for being.
- What you have passion for
- What the world needs
- What you can be paid for
- What you’re good at
A lot of people message me interested in consulting who have the first 3 covered but lack confidence in their skillset. In other words, they aren’t sure they are actually good at their job. If you find yourself in this situation, it may leave you feeling excited or happy but with some anxiety or a concern about your uncertain future. It usually presents as a question such as “what class can I take to be better prepared as a consultant?”
Believe it or not, the answer to that question frequently comes back to knowing your way around the almighty Excel spreadsheet. Decisions and strategies need to be supported by data and data needs a place to live. Most likely you will find that to be in a spreadsheet, so knowing what to do when data is staring you in the face can be a differentiator in your career.
So if you’re feeling uneasy in your pursuit of a consulting career (or any other where you end up handling numbers on a regular basis) because of a lack of confidence in your skillset, I suggest you head on over to Excel Bootcamp so you can try to find your ikigai.