By Maggie Chan Jones, Founder & CEO, Tenshey

What’s your purpose?  What excites you? What are you passionate about?

Do you remember a time you were going to make a major decision – personal or career related – and it just didn’t feel right? That’s because you didn’t connect that decision with your personal “WHY”.  Before you target WHAT it is that you want to do with your life and career, you need to identify your WHY. Your why is where your passion converges with your beliefs and values.

Take Inventory

According to  a recent Pew study, about half (51%) of employed Americans say they get a sense of identity from their job, while the other half (47%) say their job is just what they do for a living. About half (51%) of all U.S. workers say they view their job as a career, while 18% see it as a steppingstone to a career and 30% say it’s just a job to get them by.

Take an inventory of your life and career. What  moments stand out?  When were you at your “personal best” and what were the elements?   What has made you most happy? What are your curious about?  What would get you out of bed everyday excited to get to work? Doing so allowed me to realize that while technology and marketing have always been important to me, I am most happy when helping the next generation of leaders grow and succeed and promoting gender and racial equality in the workplace.

Follow your internal compass

The majority of us  have professional aspirations, personal values and financial goals. Your internal compass is where all of these converge, and it should be the driving force in all that you do. As you get older and progress in your career, the importance of each  will change.

When my career journey began, my focus was my professional aspirations. By mid-thirties, I wanted to reach financial independence and that’s when I hired my financial advisor. Now, I prioritize my personal values in guiding my decisions.

Take the time to identify the set of core values and goals that drive you. As a leader, identify the values that motivate your team  members  individually  an d that will make a difference in building a high-performance team.

Lean on your network

Grab a coffee with friends, family and people who have played an important role in your career journey.  Along with offering a fresh perspective, they can help you create an action plan and introduce you to new connections.

When I decided to  start Tenshey,  I reached out to my mentors, executive coach and friends. They validated my passion and ideas and helped me navigate the next steps with confidence.

Identify your Superpowers

What are you great at?  How can you use those superpowers t o achieve your goals and  advance your career in a meaningful way?  I’m a big fan of  StrengthsFinder, a tool that has helped me identify my own strengths and empowered me to forge a successful career.

This is another area where your network can be of help. What do they value most about you? What do they see as your strongest assets? They may come up with attributes you hadn’t even considered.

How  will you measure success?

I’ve always believed that to achieve success in your career, or life in general, you have to know yourself really well. It’s no coincidence that many successful executives and entrepreneurs share the same advice: follow your passion. When I dug deep to explore what really brought me joy in my past executive roles it always came back to the people. I’m happiest when helping the next generation leaders make the impossible possible, helping them to see and to believe in themselves for a bigger path. I decided it was time to start a new venture to do just that.  I now measure my success by the number of men and women I help along in their career journeys and the impact I can make in fostering an inclusive workplace culture.

This week it was announced Tenshey has been selected as The Marketing Academy’s official U.S. coaching partner. When Sherilyn Shackell first reached out to me about the opportunity, I said yes almost immediately.  The partnership with Marketing Academy connects perfectly to the WHY I founded Tenshey.  I’m honored to have the opportunity to pay it forward to develop the next generation executives in the industry that has shaped my life for the last 20 years.

“Once you understand your WHY, you’ll be able to clearly articulate what makes you feel fulfilled and to better understand what drives your behavior when you’re at your natural best” says Simon Sinek. “When you can do that, you’ll have a point of reference for everything you do going forward. You’ll be able to make more intentional choices for your business, your career and your life. You’ll be able to inspire others to buy from you, work with you and join your cause.”

So I’ll ask you again – What’s your purpose? What excites you? What are you passionate about?  I hope these tips can help you answer these questions and carve out a career that is as meaningful as it is successful.