4 Circles & 12 Paths to Career Fulfillment

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UPDATED DIAGRAM Aug 2021! For your best career, look for the right intersection starting with the green arrow, not the red!

See my posts on LinkedIn about this? If not, ask!


Original post: 

To find your PASSION and PURPOSE with your LOVES and TALENTS, and get the PAY you deserve giving the world what it NEEDS, consider Career Fulfillment Circles!

What is Ikigai? (ee-key-guy)

First, you should understand Ikigai, and then the Career Fulfillment Circles I created... 😉

See this original article to learn more about Ikigai, its tie to careers and see the discussion.

But know this - I got it wrong! And so do most, still.


Why do you wake up in the morning? Especially Mondays?!

Is it for a CAREER you LOVE? 

If not, keep reading.


Does that include your Monday mornings?

I had questions. I'd been asking this forever!

So I revised a Purpose Venn Diagram to tie it better to careers... and make it more memorable with 4 Ps: Passion + Purpose + Pursuit + Profession.


Why Ikigai Is Important (the American Dream)

Many of us start chasing the dream on the left of the big circle. We focus on an education without a clear picture of what the work is.

This gives us TALENTS which we then use to seek a PROFESSION.

We update that résumé and start looking for a job. But we often neglect LinkedIn.

The Typical Path

Most of us follow "down the right path", in PURSUIT of a job that PAYS the bills. And maybe even student loans!

As we master our craft, we start up in Pursuit of a better VOCATION. This is when we finally get a sense of what the world really NEEDS.

Finally, we tire of the rat race. We look for more of a PURPOSE (MISSION) and PASSION to address our true LOVES.

No One Path

But I want to be clear. There is no "right" path. 

You need to try different types of work, see how it "fits", and reflect.

Then reflect on if it meets your Ikigai better.


Then rinse and repeat!

Finding a Fulfilling Career

An ideal career is the intersection of your PASSION, PURPOSE, PURSUIT & PROFESSION.

One way to understand it is to reflect on the interrelation of the 4 Ps:

  • PROFESSION: What knowledge and skills can you be paid for?
  • PURSUIT: What can you get paid well for doing that many people need?
  • PURPOSE: What are you drawn to that the world needs?
  • PASSION: What things do you love doing, naturally?


Another way to look at it: your LOVES and TALENTS, combined with what the world NEEDS & would PAY!

If you're not doing that, start! Doesn't mean you have to quit your job...

Learning More About Career Circles

See all of my Ikigai content that came from this article...

  • Worksheets and diagram
  • My presentation
  • The slide deck - with all sorts of goodies!

Applying in the Real World

  • Use the diagram and start to list each of those and look for the overlap.
  • Print the picture, brainstorm answers to these topics, then look for intersections/overlaps!
  • Remember, often Ikigai is what you discover rather than what you know.

If you need more help, get in touch...

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