Volume 75 – Ikigai Your Way Out of the Sunday Scaries

Don’t Let Your Monday Ruin your Sunday


1.  Listen thoughtfully to my friend Dave Mayer on this week’s No More Mondays podcast.

Fun fact- I met Dave on the ski lift, where we realized we’re locals working on two sides of the same career services coin (a rarity in our small mountain town!).

Dave Mayer is the founder and CEO of Technical Integrity, an executive search and technical recruitment firm whose aim is to empower clients to do well while doing good. 

On this week’s episode, we talk about the dangers of burnout, the importance of intention, and how we can all live and grow with a simple phrase: You are not your job.

Oh yeah, and of course, we get into how you, as a job seeker, can engage with executive recruiters, so there are loads of takeaways. 


2.  Find your ikigai (pronounced “ee-kee-gahy”).

In between all the sports metaphors I lobbed at Dave during the podcast, we discussed the Japanese concept of ikigai.  Ikigai is defined as one’s reason for being.

Dave describes it as having a sense of purpose or meaning in life and for any of you who turn into the podcast regularly know, our jobs become a lot more satisfying when they’re aligned with this concept. 

Dave’s blog has a graphic that explains ikigai and we’re also going to encourage you to find your “buckets” throughout the rest of this week’s Sunday Scaries!


3. List the Things You Love

Start writing all the things you love:

  • What topics or activities energize you?
  • Are there any sports, activities, or organizations you have participated in throughout your lifetime?
  • What can you talk about for hours and hours (if you find a willing conversation partner)?

👉 Pick one of your favorite things and intentionally incorporate it into your week as a way to celebrate yourself!


4. Gather the Things You’re Good At (or “Assemble Your Awesomeness”)

You likely already know some of your strengths, but this one may take more time to reflect on.

  • What do other people compliment you on?
  • Do you have crafts or hobbies that people admire?
  • Have you earned awards for certain accomplishments?
👉 Get a confidence boost by choosing one of your “things I’m good at” to spend 15-30 minutes doing this week.


5. Wonder What the World Needs

This might seem like a trick question because there are so many opinions and perspectives  about how to tackle the world’s problems, so here are a few ideas to get you started: 

  • Have you observed a service that is lacking in your community?
  • What are common complaints you hear from others?
  • Do you have a mental (or physical) list of “things I’d like to invent one day”?
  • What is one challenge you’ve faced in your life that other people experience too?

👉 If this question has you stumped, take 5 minutes to people watch (in a non-creepy way ) this week. It may tell you a thing or two about the way people go about their day and how you could help them improve!

6.  Consider What You Can Be Paid For

If you’ve ever had a job, then you can quickly write down at least a few items – yay! 

Here are a few more considerations:

  • Has someone ever “jokingly” offered to pay you for a service or craft/hobby?
  • Are there activities you’ve done outside of work that other people get paid to do?
  • Do you have any side gigs that earn money?

👉 Look around you at the variety of jobs people perform. Go out of your way to show appreciation to someone who is “just doing their job” this week.

7. Assess Your Alignment

Is there any overlap between the circles?

Overlap between “What you love” and “What you’re good at” is your passion.

Overlap between “What you’re good at and “What you can be paid for” is your profession.

If you have something that exists in all 4 circles, you’re well on your way to finding your ikigai!

And you should be doing THE THING in the middle of all four circles…

If you’re not, call me!


Here’s to a great week, working in your purpose, every week!


Your Friend and Coach


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Angie Callen, Founder

I created Career Benders to inspire confident professionals. In just three years, we have helped nearly 500 professionals navigate job searches, nail interviews, and find satisfaction in their careers. We’re here for you!

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