Building a Purposeful Career: Seth Godin's Ten Questions for Meaningful Work

Professional life demands active control of your career and work. Seth Godin’s “Ten Questions for Work That Matters” provides an interesting framework for self-evaluation, which can help prompt you to reflect and think about some strategic actions for your career and future opportunities for work. This article offers some practical insights to advance your career.

Embracing Difficulty in Your Role “What are you doing that’s difficult?” 

Understanding the challenge in your role is the first step in acknowledging your contribution. As a senior professional, your difficult tasks frequently signify your unique abilities and value in the organisation. Your inclination to undertake complex assignments can pave the way for career advancement.

Cultivating Unique Skills and Expertise “What are you doing that people believe only you can do?”

Your unique skill set differentiates you from others. Recognise the specialised knowledge you bring and invest in further honing these skills. As you continue to be the go-to person for specific tasks, you establish yourself as an indispensable asset.

Building and Nurturing Professional Connections “Who are you connecting?”

Strong professional networks are built over time and can significantly influence your career trajectory. As a senior professional, you can connect people, departments, or even businesses, fostering a culture of collaboration and enhancing organisational efficiency.

Managing Your Professional Reputation “What do people say when they talk about you?”

Your reputation precedes you. Understanding your professional image and working on aspects that need improvement is essential. A strong and positive reputation will always help open doors to new opportunities and partnerships.

Conquering Career-related Fears “What are you afraid of?”

Addressing your fears is an essential part of personal and professional growth. Whether it’s fear of failure, change, or risk-taking, acknowledging and overcoming these fears can free you to explore new ideas and push your career to new heights.

Identifying and Maximising Scarce Resources “What’s the scarce resource?”

Scarcity often drives value. Identifying the scarce resources in your organisation and learning to optimise them can position you as a strategic thinker and problem solver attributes highly valued in a senior professional.

Driving Change within Your Sphere of Influence “Whom are you trying to change?

What does the change look like?” Effecting change is a testament to your influence and leadership. As a senior professional, your actions and decisions can shape the workplace culture and influence others, initiating meaningful organisational change.

Assessing the Impact and Importance of Your Work Would we miss your work if you stopped making it?”

Reflecting on your work’s impact can provide insight into your organisational relevance. The goal is to create work that is not just important but also irreplaceable.

Establishing Your Professional Values “What do you stand for?”

Your professional values form the foundation of your actions and decisions. Being clear about what you stand for can guide your career choices and help you navigate ethical dilemmas in the workplace.

Making a Meaningful Contribution “What contribution are you making?”

Every task you undertake contributes to a larger picture. Understanding the significance of your role in the grand scheme of things can enhance job satisfaction and inspire you to strive for more remarkable achievements.

Seth Godin’s ten key questions are more than just reflective prompts; they are signposts for intentional career growth. By carefully examining these questions and responding honestly, you gain critical insights into your career, make meaningful contributions, and progress towards your professional goals. They are also signposts that you can use to map out post-work freelancing opportunities.


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