Whether we are launching our career as a bright-eyed young professional ready to take on the world, or wading through the complex choices and paths experience brings, we are all asking the same question – What am I looking for?

Perhaps it’s the job title or the degree. Perhaps it’s the company itself or a flexible lifestyle. Some will answer by field, others by paycheck. Some answers will be very specialized and specific, others based in value and feeling. Everyone will have their own answer. That’s the beauty and challenge of the question, “What am I looking for?” We all get to ask and answer for ourselves.

But no matter the answer, here at Crafted Career Concepts, we believe every working person is interested in one universal thing: Professional Alignment.

Professional alignment occurs when our interests, talents, values and requirements intersect.

    • Interests: The activities that get you out of bed every morning, that you look forward to, that leave you feeling energized
    • Talents: The skills and abilities, special and unique to you, that you enjoy contributing, that leave you feeling filled-up, that feel like an extension of who you are
    • Values: The meaning in your work; the parameters of your job – and your work itself – are consistent with what is meaningful to you.
  • Requirements: The logistics of your life are met such as financial needs, work/life balance, manageable commute, managed stress, working in a healthy environment, etc.

These elements make up your “core”. You have to be clear on what your core components are before you can craft a career that’s in professional alignment.

Check Your Alignment.

Just like your car and your own health, your career needs regular check ups. If you can’t answer “true” to most of these statements, it may be time for a professional tune-up.

    • Most days you wake up looking forward to your work day.
    • Most nights you go to sleep feeling content about your professional contributions.
    • You have the time you need for all priorities in your life.
    • Your income meets the needs of the lifestyle you like to live.
    • You’re proud of your work.
  • You’re learning and growing.

Professional Alignment can be found along many different roads and routes, but putting intentional thought into how you want to get there is crucial. When you are in professional alignment, the positive presence you bring to your work can be felt by all – your colleagues, customers, staff, family and friends, and most importantly, within yourself. Professional alignment impacts everything else in your life, too – your relationships, your progress on personal goals and your overall well-being. That’s something we’re all looking for.

At Crafted Career Concepts, we want to help you find Professional Alignment. Contact us if you want to work together to craft a career that is right for you. And stay tuned for our blog series exploring research, we believe, can make all the difference in your career development and professional alignment. (Teaser: Hard work doesn’t always pay off.) It may be time to re-think many of the “rules” we’ve always believed lead to success in order to craft the career that is right for each of us.