When I was invited to join a lunch for like-minded people, I jumped at the chance. Meeting new contacts is interesting at the best of times, but the addition of delicious food just makes networking all the more palatable.
In advance of the lunch, we were asked to think about a challenge we are currently pondering, which we discussed during our introductions. Our table of seven shared a consistent theme of change. From the changing role of the CEO in a fast-growing company, to planning the next step in one’s career. What do we do next, when we feel we’ve made it? How do we keep boredom at bay, when we’ve been doing the same job for years? What do we need to consider when our own values are not aligned with those of our employer? 
In the past, we all had someone that we could talk to. That wise sage in the family or agony aunt. Nowadays, our lives seem to be spent on the speeding train of life and even when we have a day off, we plan so many activities that we make no time for reflection. The addition of technology has also not slowed us down, as we seemingly interact with our phones over 2617-times a day. And, whilst it’s a fact that we have our most creative thoughts when we are quiet and give ourselves space, we seldom grant ourselves that valuable time. A TED talk may offer some food for thought in that regard.
As a coach, these topics were all music to my ears, but as an invited guest I was cognisant not to scare anyone away, by asking too many coaching questions. I did however, offer a word of advice on planning one’s next career move. Find your sweetspot i.e. what you’re good at doing and also what you love doing and make sure that these skills are in your job spec. More about that topic in a blog I wrote a while ago. 
To take this concept a step further, we discussed the Japanese concept of ‘Ikigai’, which brings together; what you love; what you are good at; what the world needs and what you can be paid for.  Ikigai is essentially ‘a reason to get up in the morning’ or a reason to enjoy life. …  My reason to get up this morning was today’s lunch, which was delicious, affordable and has left me wanting more i.e. of the warm atmosphere and excellent conversation. Thanks Annabel!

Helen Martin, Coach & Management Consultant
Helen Martin Coaching Ltd