Getting a JOB versus designing a CAREER - how to start with the end in mind

Words by Craig Hankridge

When it comes to life decisions, where you work, what you do and who you spend your working time with are obviously significant. Aside from sleeping, the largest portion of our life is spent working.

So how do we set ourselves up to get the most out of life rather than dreading Monday’s with a ‘grit and grind’ mentality for 40 years?

In reality, there isn’t a silver bullet or a 100% satisfaction guaranteed answer but there are certainly ways to tips the odds in your favour.

1) Follow your interests

If a job only exists to pay the bills or as a means to an end then a career is a pathway to live your life goals. It is a place where your interests and passions converge maximising your productivity, minimising your fatigue and consistently motivating you.

When you follow your interests life becomes less and about climbing company ladders and more about designing a life that allows you to progress personally and professionally.

Action point - write down the top 10 things that interest and/or excite you. Of this top 10, how many occur in your daily life? If you want a great life, implement more of these!

2) Start with the end in mind

This next point is all about having an IDEA about where you want to get to. Presented as a paragraph this could include details about your work days, where you’re living, who you’re sharing your life with as well as what weekly activities or even what travel you are doing.

This isn’t set in stone and will typically change several times between when it is thought up to when the time period ends. Regardless, it gives you a point of focus and helps to define what an ideal life looks like for you.

Once you have this paragraph it becomes far easier to align your career and the associated pathways of progression to match what you want.

If you ideal week is to work 3 days, surf each morning and refine your pottery skills your location, remuneration and role will be far different compared to someone who’s dream is to create their own clinic franchise expanding right across Australia.

By starting with the end in mind it becomes far easier to choose the best role, within the best workplace to suit you as a person as well as your ideal week.

Action point - in one or two paragraphs outline what your ideal life looks like in 3 years time. As touched on above this includes details about your work week, your relationships, your leisure activities and anything else YOU feel would make your life great.

3) Get some skin in the game

In the same way we want our patients to buy into what we are recommending and advising we also need to buy into the environment we are working in.

This doesn’t just mean we just follow our workplace on Facebook and Instagram or that we attend all the meetings. It means that we are PRESENT.

It means that we aren’t looking ahead all the time or constantly thinking of this position as a stepping stone.

Be present in the present - it truly is a gift

If you are in a role that you know will be temporary, that is okay. However, as a professional it means that you still CRUSH it. You still set an elite example and you still focus on helping and delivering the best outcomes for your patients and your colleagues.

Action point - Give yourself one day a week to think about your future plan and book it into your schedule. If it is Wednesday between 8am-9am then for that entire time let you mind wander. Allow yourself to think about where the grass might be greener, what your ideal week looks like and how you are going to get there.


For the remainder of the working week, when you are helping your patients and helping your team BE IN IT.

If you’re not all in, you’re all out.

4) Contribution

As we touched on in point one, often a job is all about what you can get FROM it. When we are designing a career it is focused on what we can GIVE.

Contributing to your patient’s futures, your workplace, your team and your community is powerful. It helps to shape a legacy and no matter how small you think your impact is, every person that you help changes their life.

What you do is legitimately LIFE CHANGING.

Action point - In your next consult or meeting focus on delivering as much value as possible in that moment. Instead of doing what is easy, do what will help most. As exhausting as it may seem going above and beyond it has a certain level of built in momentum. The more you put yourself out there, the easier it will be to create positive change with everything you do.

Tomorrow is a new day, so let’s give it all a red hot go and see where we end up. Take these action points, let them marinate with thought then start to execute each one.

Chances are, you will be closer to your ideal career and ideal life with each passing day.

Interested in maximising your skills? We can help! Check out our tailored programs that take practitioners from good to world-class.

Craig Hankridge