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Ikigai Introduction

How can you use the Japanese philosophy of Ikigai in your child's career design?
This is the ikigai framework
© NexgenCareers_EX3 framework

Pronounced, ee-key-guy.

Ikigai is a traditional Japanese concept that influences everyday life in Japan. The Japanese philosophy of Ikigai dates back to the Heian period, between 794 to 1185.

Wikipedia describes it as: “The term Ikigai compounds two Japanese words: iki meaning ‘life; alive‘ and kai meaning ‘(an) effect; (a) result; (a) fruit; (a) worth; (a) use; (a) benefit; (no, little) avail’ (sequentially voiced as gai) to arrive at ‘a reason for living (being alive); a meaning for (to) life; what (something that) makes life worth living; a raison d’etre‘.”³

Some people even think it’s the cause of their happiness and longevity. It’s understandable why western culture has adopted it as a means of finding a fulfilling profession.

If we apply the model to our everyday life we should be able to find our dream careers.

  • What you love
  • What you’re good at
  • What you can be paid for
  • What the world needs

The Ikigai Framework

This is the Ikigai model which consists in a diagram to help people define their dream career

Knowing your Ikigai will not only help you live a more fulfilled life but it will also:

  • Help you understand what your ideal work environment looks like
  • Assist in fostering strong social ties at work
  • Maintain a good work-life balance.
  • Follow through on your ideal career
  • Enjoy your work

Considering the above model, exploring these aspects with your child is a particularly helpful way to help them identify their own needs as well as highlight the reasons why it is important to take a holistic approach when considering a career. Assist them by brainstorming different career options and what a day in that career would look like. We won’t be covering it in Week 2, but definitely add it as a point of discussion with your child.

It is further noted that according to the above diagram:

  • At the intersection of what you love and what you are good at is your passion.
  • At the intersection of what you love and what the world needs is your mission.
  • At the intersection of what the world needs and what you can get paid for is your vocation.
  • At the intersection of what you are good at and what you can get paid for is your profession.

Review the Ikigai model and apply it to your own life.

  • What stands out for you?
  • Have you been able to identify the four aspects for yourself?
  • Is there any overlap with your current career?
  • What is in line and where is there a potential conflict?

When you are ready to move on, mark this session complete as we will then explore each component of the Ikigai model.

© NexgenCareers_EX3 framework
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