Future Generali

Career advice for mid-level individuals

Rakesh Wadhwa:

What would be your message to all our audience who are in the middle of their career, somewhere between five to 10 years?


Keith Coats:

That would depend on the individual I am talking to and what career they were in tot. But I would generalize it for everyone. I would encourage a person mid-career to really know what their purposes is without giving them concrete advice as to how to get there because I think it would be tragic to get to the end of your working life and find that you have miss invested your time and your resource. I think that you should work very hard at clarifying the meaning that you bring to work very often. If you look to get meaning from work and that work has taken away from you, it can be devastating. So rather than trying to extract meaning from work try and bring meaning to work. That means I take responsibility for meaning for a sense of purpose. I regard myself at a personal level as one of the luckiest people on the planet.

I work for the first 15 to 20 years of our working career in the nonprofit sector in South Africa, in fact, among street kids, that was a real sense of purpose. And then for the last 20, 25 years have been doing this workaround helping organizations and individuals get future fit. And neither of those careers has felt like a career because both were underpinned by a real sense of purpose. I love getting up and doing what I do. It doesn't matter whether it's the weekend or midweek,

I would encourage a mid-career person is to understand why are you doing what you're doing. Is this what you want to do? Was it something that your parents pushed you in to do? Was it forced by circumstances?

If you can uncover a real sense of personal purpose then that becomes the foundation and the building blocks to then what you do.

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