Episode 49: How to find your purpose – with Jelena Radonjic of WhatWork

Career fulfilment coach Jelena Radonjic helps us to find our purpose and identify what we need to do to align with that.

Today’s guest

Jelena Radonjic of WhatWork

Website: WhatWork

Facebook: WhatWork

Twitter: @WhatWorkUK

LinkedIn: Jelena Radonjic

YouTube: WhatWork

Email: jelena@whatwork.co.uk

Jelena is an award-winning Career Fulfilment Coach, speaker, author and Forbes Coaches Council contributor. She is passionate about helping conscious, aspiring professionals thrive in the careers they love. With 25 years in international recruitment and education management and a CTI coaching qualification, she brings together unique insights into how recruiters think and how personal coaches work. Having lived and worked in 3 countries, she speaks 4 languages and is passionate about cross-cultural competence and communication.

Working in managerial roles with P&L responsibility, sales, business development, candidate selection and talent acquisition, from start-ups to University Career Service, to growing SMEs in Japan and the UK, Jelena has developed a strong business acumen and commercial awareness that allow her to coach clients from a variety of industries and seniority levels.

Jelena has also worked with spiritual teachers such as John DeMartini and Deepak Chopra and infuses love, joy and spirit into her coaching and everything she does. Through WhatWork, her career coaching consultancy, she offers individual and group coaching for Career Transitions and Career Development. She often speaks at events on Career Fulfilment, How to Make Conscious Career Decisions, Effortless Networking, Interview Skills for the 21st Century, to name a few. 

Jelena has coached numerous clients from financial services, consulting, media, tech and public sector and her clients have found roles at PWC, Deloitte, Amazon, Imperial College, UNICEF, Frontier Economics, Tottenham Hotspur FC,  Oxford Instruments, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, to name a few, or have successfully started their own businesses.

What you’ll learn in this episode

  • That purpose is not the same thing is passion and why purpose is important
  • Why you don’t need a huge grand purpose in life and why it’s more important to focus on your values and what matters to you
  • How you know that what you’re doing doesn’t match your purpose
  • How you can choose which beliefs you live by
  • What “Ikigai” is and how it can help you find your purpose
  • How being angry and upset can highlight your purpose
  • Why you need to identify and avoid “saboteur voices”

Resources mentioned in this episode

Please note that some of these are affiliate links and we may get a small commission in the event that you make a purchase.  This helps us to cover our expenses and is at no additional cost to you.

Here’s a diagram to illustrate the concept of “Ikigai”

To see the resources recommended by all our guests, visit the Resources page.

Episode 49: How to find your purpose - with Jelena Radonjic of WhatWork

Jeremy Cline 0:00
I have no purpose. I have no passion. There's nothing that I really care about. Does this sound like you? Does this sound like something which you feel is holding you back from making some kind of a change because you just don't know what your purpose or passion is? Well if that's the case, then this episode is definitely for you. I'm Jeremy Cline and this is Change Work Life.

Jeremy Cline 0:38
Hello, and welcome to the Change Work Life podcast where we're all about beating the Sunday evening blues and enjoying Mondays again. The comment that I see come up really quite regularly in discussions about career is something along the lines of I have no passion, or I have no purpose. And this idea of purpose is one that I really wanted to dig into on this podcast. I'm delighted to welcome as my guest Jelena Radonjic. Jelena is an award winning coach. She's a speaker. She's an author, and she is the founder of What Work which is a career coaching consultancy. Jelena, welcome to the podcast.

Jelena Radonjic 1:12
Hi, and thank you so much for inviting me.

Jeremy Cline 1:15
It's an absolute pleasure. Before we get into the meat of the topic, perhaps you could tell us a little bit more about what you do as a coach. So who you coach, what you coach them on, and how you got in to coaching in the first place?

Jelena Radonjic 1:26
I like to call myself a career fulfilment coach, because I deeply care about my clients and actually everyone else being fulfilled in what they do with the work they do. That's also the reason why I call my consultancy What Work even though the word career obviously is very much widely used. But I like to go beyond that and really look at what it is that we do as humans, as people that will help us self actualize through our work. In terms of clients, I work with aspiring conscious - that's very important to me -professionals who are either in career transitions or looking for further career development. And I would say that I help them identify and reach and retain careers they love and thrive in.

Jeremy Cline 2:20
And how did you get into coaching?

Jelena Radonjic 2:21
Right. My background initially is in international recruitment and education management. Many years - well over 25 years. And I was at a juncture where I was looking at what next. At the same time simultaneously with all of this work and developing myself as a professional, I also invested many years into personal development and spiritual work as well. So when I was pondering what it is that I could do to bring everything together, career coaching emerged, as I deeply care about people, I like helping people, recruitment, and the idea of doing meaningful work has always been very close to me and very important to me. And that's how I having left my last full time job in 2012 I believe it was, I decided to ease into coaching, and bring together various aspects of my interests and professional experience.

Jeremy Cline 3:24
Let's start at the beginning. What do you mean, when you talk about purpose and is purpose different from passion?

Jelena Radonjic 3:33
I would say it is different. These days, there's a lot of talk about purpose. Well, not just these days, but in the last, say, a decade or two, perhaps in the world of self development. And I find that some of this talk can be off putting or even intimidating and people start to think or believe that they have to have this amazing purpose and have to do something huge to change the world, or touch billions of lives. And whilst I really appreciate those who have that strong sense of purpose with these ambitious goals, I also like to look at other people who perhaps do not have this type of of a sweeping cute statement and purpose and perhaps feel a little bit threatened or under pressure that they too have to have something so grand. What I do with my clients is I help them through a series of exercises using my tools and a variety of other resources to uncover really what matters to them. So this first bit about what matters to them is actually about values because the sense of purpose is normally very much linked to values and what matters to us. And then I like to challenge them and ask them to see if they're actually living in accordance with what matters to them. In other words, are they living in accordance with their values. Often clients come to me already with a sense of a discrepancy of something not being quite right. Or perhaps they're in a role or even an industry that doesn't align with their core values. And therefore, we cannot even start to talk about any sense of purpose. So it's first of all about finding about yourself, what truly matters to you. And then from there, looking also at what you're good at, and what you enjoy doing, and what your passion is. And then I'd say putting all of that together would or could lead to a sense of a greater purpose.

Jeremy Cline 5:44
There's a lot there that I'd like to dig into. But perhaps before we get to that, why is purpose important? And you mentioned the pressure that people feel put under to find their purpose, and I suspect many people will think in terms of this grand sweeping, you know, my purpose is to find a cure for cancer or whatever. But why is it important that somebody does identify and goes through the exercise of working out what their purpose might be?

Jelena Radonjic 6:10
I think we as humans tend to look for meaning. Even in ordinary conversations, you can hear people saying, does it make sense? Am I making sense? So we're trying to make sense of everything but particularly of our lives, and you know why we're here and who we are and what are we here to do? So these are some archetypal questions that whether we are aware of them or not, or whether we acknowledge them or not, we all like to address in some way or another. I think in the animal world, animals also work to a certain extent - we can look at ants or I don't know birds, building their nests, but none of these animals do work as self actualization process. In other words, humans find purpose through their work. At least that's the concept I believe in. And that's why I see the importance, where I see the importance of helping others find that meaning in what they do. Which again, is very closely linked to a sense of value, also their own value, their own worth, and the value they can add to others, to the society or immediate environment, or the world at large.

Jeremy Cline 7:30
And so what are the symptoms, if you like, of someone working in a role, which doesn't necessarily align with their values or purpose. And they might not know this yet, they might not have been through the exercises to work that out. But how can someone first get this kind of awareness that what they're doing doesn't match?

Jelena Radonjic 7:49
There are many different ways or signals and again, it will depend on the person. Generally what I find with clients is that if they feel compelled to continue with a certain role or in the same field, but do not feel happy or fulfilled, things are not going in flow or with ease. Everything starts to become an effort or a drudgery. Stress accumulates. And then they can either be heading to burnout or may have experienced that. I also get clients who have been through a trauma at work unfortunately, either through toxic relationships or being made redundant or there may have been other different scenarios. But even before coming to these sort of climatic points, there are many different telltale signs. And one thing that you said at the beginning of this episode is you mentioned Monday mornings or Sunday evenings, I think.

Jeremy Cline 8:49
Sunday evening blues, yeah.

Jelena Radonjic 8:50
Sunday evening. There you go. That's one of the things which I also look at. As a matter of fact, in my career fitness quiz, one of the questions is do you look forward to Monday morning, going to work on a Monday morning. And then I offer them different answers. All of these can be taken as signs that actually measure our fulfilment or lack of with what we're doing at any given moment.

Jeremy Cline 9:18
I'm going to put this up there in the hope that you are immediately going to shoot it down, but one of the comments that I do see sometimes is Yeah, but that's just work, isn't it? I mean, work's not supposed to be fulfilling. You do it to get paid, because that's what society expects you to do. It's how you feed and shelter and clothe yourself and your loved ones and that kind of thing. So there's not really any point in trying to find this sort of higher meaning or just looking for something which you're going to wake up on Monday morning thinking, yeah, I get to go to work. Go on, shoot that down for me!

Jelena Radonjic 9:50
Gladly! I would just say, I would question it but say could this just be a belief - because we all have beliefs about everything. There's not always much evidence to say, well, this is actually really true. So you can choose the belief that oh, well, this is just work. And actually one of the answers that I offer in the multiple choice in my quiz is, yeah, this is just work or I don't mind going to work on a Monday morning and so forth. But there are also the answers like I hate it, I dread it, even the thought of it frightens me. It really is about a choice. I tend to work with clients who already want to do something about the discrepancy or lack of fulfilment if they've discovered it. With those people who are happy kind of being resigned to that, that it is just work and you're not meant to find fulfilment, well, then so be it. I'm not there to preach that we should all have to do that. Having said that, there is a caveat. My coaching is really holistic and I look at the overall fulfilment of a person, and I've seen clients who actually find this fulfilment outside of work. So to give you just a couple of examples, these are the typical scenarios that I can end up in with clients. They may be in the wrong job or industry or even hate it. They have something else that they love, which is a passion. And then we work on helping them transition from this place where they're not fulfilled into something else. The something else could be even starting their own business, maybe even in a different field. It is possible. I've done it, we've done it hundreds of times. It's a long winded road with ups and downs and a lot of effort, but it can happen. And now the type of scenario is when the client comes with something where they're not totally unhappy but they're not thriving either. And then there's something else that they quite like, say call it a side job or a side hustle or something. And then there is a possibility of conjoining these two and then they merge their past career or whatever they're doing at the moment with this new interest or hobby or passion, and they create a new quality. And that way they transition into something new - again, could be employment or could be starting their own business. And the third scenario is where the client actually through the process of coaching discovers that actually it's not as bad as they thought, and what they've been doing over the last 15, 20 years is right for them, but because they didn't invest into fulfilment in other areas of their life, or perhaps they were just, you know, overworking or neglecting other aspects of their life. They realise that now when they're able to bring more into their lives, what else matters to them, such as different hobbies, passions, spending time with family - could be anything from fishing, to yoga, to kickboxing to marathon running, anything - but just really something that matters to them that they've been pushed aside. So I help them bring more of that into their lives. And then they find a balance. So these are just three potential scenarios that I see quite often.

Jeremy Cline 13:06
That's really fascinating actually, I'm glad you went through those. Before we talk about the how, let's talk about what you end up with. When you go through the exercises that lead to you hopefully finding your purpose, what do you get at the end of the process? Is it a list of things, values or whatever it might be? Is it kind of like a one word sentence? You know, a one line sentence my purpose is [fill in the blank]. What are you aiming for?

Jelena Radonjic 13:36
That's a great question actually. I'd say for my coaching very briefly, the first phase would be self discovery. So we dig out the values, the motivators, what drives you, your skills, trends, competencies, all of that. The middle bit would be around qualifying your options. Do you want to change - if yes, into what? - and looking at different roles or scenarios or perhaps setting up your own business. And the third bit is the implementation, which is once we have unwrapped the gifts, as I say, in the initial discovery, then we package them into how you want to present to your audience or to the recruiters or to your clients, which is, you know, the CV, the LinkedIn, interviewing, networking, all of that. So these are some of the outcomes. But I'd say what you end up with is I actually do presentations on this and that's when I talk about ikigai on one hand and personal branding on the other. So ikigai is a coaching model, which is a Japanese word by the way, stands for your reason for being. It is a cultured model which looks at are you doing something that you love, that the world needs, that you're good at, and that you can be paid for. Intersection of of these is meant to be your purpose.

Jeremy Cline 14:57
Would you mind just repeating those four things? Let me have a diagram that I can put in the show notes. I think that'll be very helpful. Because I've seen it, it's definitely quite a visual thing.

Jelena Radonjic 15:06
It is, it is. So the first thing is, are you doing something that you love, which is obviously about your passion. Something that you really feel you love doing. The next segment is, does the world need that translated into commercial language that will be - is there a market need for this?

Jeremy Cline 15:24
Will you get paid for it.

Jelena Radonjic 15:25
Next one is, can you be paid for it, yes. Which is the bit where we can explore the so called skills that pay the bills. And the last bit is, are you good at it? In other words, do you have qualifications, competency, certification, experience in that and so on. And the intersection of all of these is that I'd say the cross section between passion, mission, vocation and profession is where your ikigai is. Again, this is just a model that we use as a starting point, as an inspiration. We don't necessarily have to come up with every tiny bit to fit in every circle. But it's a very good starting point for discussion, and discovery. And then I was just going back to your question at the other end, when I talk about personal branding. That's where I take this purpose, or you can call it a mission statement even if you like. And I help my clients create an elevator pitch, which is very much a commercial term, which speaks about what you do, who you are and what you do in a very succinct way. So just to illustrate, I will give you my own, and I do that sometimes in talks that I deliver in public, my own ikigai or purpose is that I raise awareness through insight and love. So that for me is the deeper purpose. My elevator pitch is that I'm a career coach who helps aspiring conscious professionals identify, reach and retain careers they love.

Jeremy Cline 17:10
Can I just ask because you mentioned that a couple of times - 'conscious'. what does conscious mean in this context?

Jelena Radonjic 17:16
It is about the desire to expand your awareness, which very much links to my first statement, because I see my mission as someone who helps raise awareness of yourself and the world around you, and dealing with all these sort of deeper level questions that we mentioned at the beginning of the episode. And also you will notice that the word love is also in the first statement and the second statement, so I would say these two concepts or terms are very much prominent both in my mission or my purpose or my ikigai, as well as in my summary or elevator pitch as to what I do as a coach.

Jeremy Cline 18:00
Right, now before my audience starts shouting into their phone 'Get on with it!' let's talk about how do you find your values? How do you find your purpose? What exercises can you go through to start uncovering all this?

Jelena Radonjic 18:14
Well, I like to call values non negotiables. Because these are the things for want a better word that mean so much to us that sometimes we're ready to defend them even with our own life. So that's something that we don't negotiate or don't compromise on. The problem is that people over a period of time start compromising some of their core values at work, or sometimes even in personal relationships. And that's when things happen such as, you know, toxic relationships or burnout or big things or illnesses because we're not in alignment. So one of the exercises that I like to give to my audience is to think about an event or an incident or even a person that really, really upset them - totally upset them, and think about that time or event when you felt super angry, upset, maybe frustrated, maybe you felt like your blood was boiling. That's the extent to which you were angry or resentful or just felt like 'grr!!' When you are then able to describe and qualify that person or event using certain words, for example, maybe someone lied to you or betrayed you, or perhaps it's something to do with some injustice, and so forth. You can develop the picture as you go along. And then look at the opposite end of these words or terms of concept, and that's where you will find your core values. Why? Because when someone steps into your core values, that's when you get really upset or angry, or sad or furious, or all of it at once. At the opposite end of lying or dishonesty, we have truth, transparency, honesty. If someone betrayed you, you obviously value loyalty, and so forth. If we're looking at injustice, we will look at the other end so equality, justice, integrity maybe, authenticity. So these are just some of the core values we can uncover in this way.

Jeremy Cline 20:21
I love the way that you're kind of defining it from the negative. And I think that's so powerful because we remember the negative things. And you know, 20 years on I can still remember getting angry at a former boss or something like that. And I'm not saying that we don't remember the positive things, the joyful things, but you definitely remember some of those things. And I guess you can also look at not even just in a work context, but you could see a news story, for example, that's got you angry about something. Yeah, it could be something that's going on in another country where a leader of that country is not acting in a particularly democratic manner, and you react against that. And so that would make you think that you value fairness and democracy and that kind of thing. So this is an absolutely fascinating way of looking at it.

Jelena Radonjic 21:15
It's just one of the exercises. I mean, there are many different ones, and I love to look for these, and for subliminal messages as well. But I use a variety of exercises like this with visualisation that we will do in the session, but I also have my workbooks and things where I would ask clients to write different things and ask and answer different questions. And from there, we will kind of extract the gold so to speak.

Jeremy Cline 21:40
How long a list would you recommend the clients come up with if they go through this process of kind of identifying the opposites?

Jelena Radonjic 21:49
In terms of identifying the opposites I mean, it's as long as you want it to be. You can take it as a game and just brainstorm and go into different situations. I literally just finished a session with a client earlier today where we went through his work related values or career values. Once you have quite a few of your core values or life values out there in the open, you can also look at how that actually translates into career related values. You asked about how a discrepancy can occur or what would be a signal, maybe the person is a bit of an introvert or likes things to be slower and not as sort of stressful or pressurised, and yet they end up in an environment or a career where there's no work life balance. There's hourly deadlines, where you know, lots of things are happening, that are not actually in accordance with the way they function, the way that their core values are, and then the discrepancy starts to occur and they start heading to a burnout or illness or unhappiness in general.

Jeremy Cline 23:03
So when you've got your list of values, how would you kind of go through the exercise of comparing it to your career and working out which ones don't fit?

Jelena Radonjic 23:12
The exercise with career values would be looking at your core values and extracting them. But it would also look at very simple things such as what you love, and like or dislike and hate in your current work. This is just what I did with a client earlier today. And then we can analyse every role they had so far in that way. And then I look for patterns. Usually things repeat. If in every role, they liked say leading people, or mentoring and coaching others, motivating others and so forth, obviously, that's very important to them going forward and choosing the type of work or role or even environment that they will be working in. If they repeatedly are saying I hate politics or there's no transparency, and in this company, there was no transparency and in another one and so forth. Again, based on that, we will figure out and research an environment that is going to be more amenable to who they are and how they prefer to operate.

Jeremy Cline 24:20
So can you go into a bit more detail on this second exercise, the what you like, what you don't like? Because there's what you'd like, what you don't like, what you're good at - is it as simple as that, just three columns on a piece of paper, or is this something that can give it a bit more structure than just that, if it needs to?

Jelena Radonjic 24:37
Sure. The career values bit is about looking at various experiences you've had so far in terms of your career, and listing in the first column is what you loved about that role or that job. The second column is what you liked. And the third column would be what you disliked or hated.

Jeremy Cline 24:56
So you would actually distinguish between loved and liked?

Jelena Radonjic 24:59
Oh, yes. Yeah. Absolutely.

Jeremy Cline 25:00
That's interesting. Is that a distinction that comes easily to people sort of which falls in which category? I'm wondering if some people end up with a list where they don't have anything in the love column.

Jelena Radonjic 25:10
That sounds a very bleak picture! Usually people would have something that they loved in every workplace or most, unless it was a total disaster, in which case probably they really didn't stay there very long at all. But it could be that they loved their office or work environment, or they loved the boss, or they loved the colleagues or particular traits of the company culture, or the role itself, or part of the role - so there's always something to love or like, but also dislike, of course.

Jeremy Cline 25:45
Yeah, I'm just thinking that I can certainly see how it would be relatively easy unless your job is really that bad to put things into a like column, but love seems like just such a strong emotion that I perceive that people would be hard pressed to put things into the these are the aspects which I loved about my job more than just liked about them.

Jelena Radonjic 26:07
Sure. Well, I can give you an example. I tend to stand stay a long time in the role wherever I worked in the past, but there was one particular experience I left after four months. That company was a small company. And there was one thing that I really loved, which was the business model, which was around international recruitment. And the way literally the business model was organised and the business and the type of clients I would be getting in touch with. That's really what I loved. Everything else was terrible, unfortunately, so I left but that was something that I still loved because it was great. And actually you can learn from that and perhaps these are the things you can look at and consider later on for when you're looking for a next role or even starting your own business.

Jeremy Cline 26:08
Are there any other exercises which you think are worth mentioning it now before I come on to my next question, which is the practical application of what you do once you've got these lists. So we've had the the opposites, working out what upsets you and then working out as a result what you enjoy, this three column bit of paper with the love, liked and disliked - or was it hated went in the third column?

Jelena Radonjic 27:21
You can split it into four and have dislike and then hate if you like, or you can bundle them together.

Jeremy Cline 27:28
Okay, are there any other exercises which you recommend people also add in just to complete the picture?

Jelena Radonjic 27:34
Well, there are lots of different things that I do with clients in the session, it would be a little bit difficult to kind of reproduce them without actually doing them but they would be like short guided journeys, almost like very short guided meditations with the visualisations. Actually, I can give you an example of one which is called the peak moment. I'm pretty sure a lot of coaches use that which is asking the client to visualise a time in their life when they were happy and felt full of excitement and power, and they absolutely didn't care about whoever else was thinking whatever of them, where they were just - wow. And then start thinking about that time or moment and who were they with, and what were they doing, and also the impact that they had on others. And clients come up with all kinds of stories from personal life from adventures, from work, and this is very, very interesting. And that's when I look at common traits and what is surfacing. Why has the person chosen that particular moment in time as their peak moment. They don't know, I don't tell them this is your peak moment. They just talk about an experience but as a coach, you can actually extrapolate quite a lot from that in terms of values and what matters to them.

Jeremy Cline 29:02
As an aside, do you ever need to coach people to kind of be a bit more honest with yourself? So there's going to be the things which people feel that should be the peak moments, but they aren't necessarily. I mean, I'm going to say getting married, having your first child, that sort of thing. You know, those should be the peak moments, but actually, when someone thinks about it, they'll actually think actually the moment where I felt real joy was something completely different. How do you kind of get people to be honest about it to themselves as much as anything else?

Jelena Radonjic 29:35
Sure. Very interesting question. Now I'm thinking about, I can't remember if anyone ever told me about their wedding day or their child being born. Most of my clients have had marriages or had, and children as well. So very interesting! I guess they've all have their career or their own fulfilment on mind when they go into this exercise. In terms of being honest with themselves, this is a very interesting point you made. Whenever there's a little bit of discrepancy, that's where saboteurs are engaged. And that's another very significant chunk of my work with clients. Because as we grow up, we get conditioned, first of all by our parents and their belief system and their value system, and then through school and education and teachers and peer culture and you know, maybe religion or community leaders. These days, obviously celebrities, so everyone is exerting an influence on us and then as we mature, all of these different influences amalgamate and we sort of lose track of what is it that we actually naturally authentically want and love and believe and what is it that you know came from Uncle Bob or my mum, or the neighbour and they is the sort of detective work of a coach that I do, which I immensely enjoy, which is about helping clients identify these saboteur voices that lead us to ingrained patterns of behaviour that do not serve us. So for example, we may choose a different story, as you mentioned, in order to maybe please another person or to avoid something. This is a whole other area of work that is very much present in my coaching.

Jeremy Cline 31:07
I'd like to just flip back to ikigai for a second and the four different things. And two that you mentioned, what the world needs or what there is a need for and what people will pay you for. Those strike me as much more sort of external questions - the other things you can kind of you know, go through lots of exercises and work out yourself. What you enjoy and what you're good at and that sort of stuff. How do you work out the other things?

Jelena Radonjic 32:00
Well we look at what client has been doing so far, and this particular model can help us determine whether, if they're considering a change or a career transition, whether whatever they're say passionate about, they love it, and maybe they're great at it, they're really good at it, whether they can be paid for it and whether the world needs it. Because if the answer is no, then it's more likely to remain a hobby, or a passion or something they can pursue outside of their work. In terms of what the world needs, I mean, this is a huge question. I guess if I was working with a startup CEO who's come up with this amazing idea, then this, you know, question becomes something completely different. And then it would boil down to, you know, testing the product, the viable product, the methodology, and so on, but just talking within the parameters of what we know rather than say innovation, I guess it's fairly easy to ascertain, you know, whether the world needs in terms of both the existing structures, industries and roles, but also what is coming as a result of all the industries being disrupted by technology.

Jeremy Cline 33:17
And going back to purpose and the various exercises - you've been through this and you end up with a long list of fairly abstract terms, values, all that sort of stuff. And you might find that okay, so these are my values, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang - but then how do you go from there to working out what that translates to in terms of what your job might be or business if you go that down that route or you know, how do you work out okay, so this is what would work for me, this particular role or position or whatever?

Jelena Radonjic 33:51
Well, a lot of that work is done through coaching, I have to say, but it's also I ask my clients to do a lot of research. So we're now looking at this middle phase where we look at options. In other words, with everything that is important to you - your values, say work life balance, travel, or maybe no travel, some clients say I've travelled a lot, I just don't want to travel again ever I want a job, where I stay put! Okay, progression, opportunities to learn and grow - whatever it is that matters to you. And everything that you bring to the table, your qualification, experience, any professional qualifications, certifications, your personal traits, say you're driven, or ambitious, or you're a leader and so on. So once we look at all of that, then we look at what is it out there, what are the roles, possibilities for that person with this kind of a setup or a package? And then I would guide clients to brainstorm. So the idea here is that nothing is ridiculous. And we can just get out as many different options, and then we start narrowing down to those that seem fitting the best everything that we just mentioned, but also that are feasible - because someone may want to become an astronaut or a ballerina, but obviously they don't. If they're not in the position, they may take another lifetime to achieve that. So I'm not gonna take them down that route. So it's about being very practical and pragmatic, whilst at the same time taking into consideration all the other let's call it fluffy stuff, which is incredibly important - fulfilment, which is what I'm after.

Jeremy Cline 35:38
And let's just briefly touch on it because I feel like there's a loose end. You talked about that being the middle phase. So can you just sort of briefly describe what the presumably final phase is in the process?

Jelena Radonjic 35:50
So the final phase would be actually implementing everything that we so far got in terms of detailing the next steps. So this is what I'm going to do. Am I going to set up my own business? Or am I transitioning into this industry? Am I going for these roles? So by that point, the client is fairly clear on what the next steps are. And then there's implementation phase where as I mentioned, that's where we come up with the elevator pitch. That's where we look at what I call packaging - their CV or resume, their LinkedIn and generally their personal branding. Also, there's quite a bit around interviewing. If obviously, they're job hunting and looking for a new role, I specialise in interview coaching, amongst many things, but I don't push that a lot because I want to work with clients who are interested in the rest as well, not just interviewing. So that is the last bit which is the implementation. It's also one one very important chunk of work, which has been mentioned is the career narratives. So I help clients develop stories, career stories, based around milestone experiences, key experiences from their career in order, of course, to showcase and highlight their expertise, their experience, their qualifications, and what they can do. And once we develop these stories, could be anything from five to 25, depending on the client and how much work they want to do, then we use those in the application process in the interviewing process. So it's almost like building a databank of stories, which you can then pull out and use as you wish.

Jeremy Cline 37:33
Fantastic. I think there's probably another whole podcast episode there to talk through all that. Jelena, thank you. I keep on coming back to that exercise about sort of thinking what you're angry about, just because I've never heard of it before. It's really good. So thank you for that. In terms of resources that you routinely recommend to clients or that have helped you - books, things like that. Does anything come to mind that you can recommend to people?

Jelena Radonjic 37:58
Sure, absolutely. In terms of working with clients at the beginning to uncover their strengths, as well as weaknesses or limiting beliefs, I give them a couple of tests to do. One of the tests I give them to do is the saboteur test. And that is aimed at uncovering whatever is sabotaging them. What kind of belief or pattern behaviour - could be avoider, perfectionist, victim, and so forth. And then once we get those results, I recommend a book which is called Taming your Gremlin by Rick Carson, which funnily enough is one of the very old personal development books. I only found out about it maybe three or four years ago. It was originally published 30 years ago, and it's a very, very good read with a lot of exercises. So this is the work that the client can do in the background, between sessions. And then we comment on that in the session and discuss it because they feed it back to me Which is all aimed at recognising your saboteurs or gremlins and catching them before they actually sabotage you.

Jeremy Cline 39:10
Fantastic and where can people go to find out more about you?

Jelena Radonjic 39:13
So my website is whatwork.co.uk. And they can email me at jelena@whatwork.co.uk. And there are other pages that I use as well, such as my speaker page or my LinkedIn profile. But I welcome any kind of interaction and I'm happy to share or answer any questions.

Jeremy Cline 39:41
Brilliant. I will put links to all those in the show notes. Jelena, thank you so much.

Jelena Radonjic 39:46
Thank you so much Jeremy for having me.

Jeremy Cline 39:48
Wow, what great stuff. As you could tell from the interview, I was really blown away by the idea of working out what your values are by looking at the negatives - what makes you angry. So if something makes you angry then what does that tell you about what your values are. Thinking about it in those terms was just something I hadn't come across before. And I thought that was really incredibly powerful. It was clear from what Jelena was saying that you don't need this kind of higher purpose. You don't have to have this purpose of ending world hunger, or whatever it might be. I mean, yeah great if you do, but it's not necessary. You don't need something on that scale. What Jelena was saying was that you need to identify what your values are and then apply those to your search for something which will fulfil you. That was the term that she used. I got a heck of a lot out of that interview with Jelena and I really hope that you did too. I've put in the show notes a link to this concept of ikigai so you can see it visually in front of you because it definitely does help when you can actually see the diagram that Jelena was talking about. And of course, there'll be the links to where you can get hold of Jelena and the resources that she's mentioned. They're all on the show notes page for this episode, which is changeworklife.com/49. There are clearly a great many exercises which you can do in order to find your purpose and to help you navigate your perfect career path, as well as the ones that Jelena mentioned in this episode, you'll find on my website changeworklife.com a couple of exercises, which you might use to get started. If you go to the menu item, Find Career Happiness, there's a link there which will take you to the exercises, just fill in a form and you'll get an email with the exercises straightaway. So use those as a starting point and see if that gets you further forward. Next week, a bit of a change of gears where we talk about the importance of sleep, how we can ensure that we have a decent night's sleep, the impact it can have on you if you don't. It's going to be really interesting because it's something that just affects everything that we do. So come back next week and I can't wait to see you then. Cheers. Bye

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