The value of integrity for a fulfilled and meaningful career

A truly fulfilling job is not just something you do. Just close your eyes for a few minutes and think about all the things that you have done today from the very moment you woke up. Whether you're working from your home or your office, I'm pretty sure you still have your own priorities and deadlines at work, which means you have some pressure to deal with. What is the very first thing you remember? Is it your nice shower? Your breakfast? Your morning ritual, perhaps? That first thing that came to your mind is the one you most likely approached with your whole self.


We are so busy in our lives that it's difficult most of the time to be fully present with where we are and what we do. The level of difficulty increases when we are not acting - or being - as a whole coherent self.

Martha Beck, the author of The Way of Integrity, tells us that the word integrity comes from the Latin 'integer', which simply means 'intact'. To be in integrity is to be one thing, whole and undivided. When we experience unity of intention, fascination, and purpose, we do what feels truest in each moment. Our daily work is so absorbing that at the end of the day we don't really want to stop. But when we do, we enjoy hanging out with loved ones so much, and sleep is so delicious we can't imagine anything sweeter.

Now, if you're struggling with concentration and motivation in your job now and then, you're not necessarily out of integrity. But when days become months, months become years and you feel like you just can't say no to distractions, that there's something missing, that you're stuck in a vicious cycle where low job satisfaction affects other areas such as self-esteem, health and relationships, you probably want to stop and check on yourself.

Those who are looking for a career change quite often face a series of challenges coming from fears, self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours or other emotional blockages. Part of my coaching conversations is about helping them go through a process of self-exploration where they usually realise that for such a long time they have been lying to themselves, by satisfying cultural and societal expectations while going against their nature. Don't get me wrong. I'm a firm believer that we need to go outside our nature if we want to grow and be more of ourselves in the world. However, when we lie to our soul - you can call it inner self - that's when we get into troubles, living a life that doesn't belong to us.

If you are at that stage in your career where you have lost touch of your purpose - maybe you have realised that you've never had a purpose - you know you need a change but don't know what to do or what that change looks like, start asking yourself these questions:

  • What excites or re-energises you? What recharges your batteries?
  • What old beliefs about what you “should” do might not be true?
  • What needs to change to turn this “should” into a “want”?
  • What are you good at?
  • What self-talk do you notice that you can let go of?
  • What's the first step you can take to start your way out of the vicious cycle? 

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