HOW TO CREATE MEANING IN YOUR WORK
Just recently as I listened to an MC introduce me at a conference, I realised something perhaps I knew but hadn’t truly acknowledged. It wasn’t a simple intro of ‘nutritionist’ anymore, there were a few more words, and slashes (/) following my name. At that time, the internal monologue was “Jesus Jacq… you’ve become a slashie”. A slashie which in the past, may have also lead to self talk along the lines of “get your (shit) self together and focus on one thing?!?!” but at this point in time, hearing myself as a slashie meant something quite different.
You see these days, being a “slashie” is actually something I am happy to own. Having multiple “/’s” within a title indicates that in fact I, and we, are getting deep into what it means to create a meaningful life. That waking each day and trying to focus on just one job or career path, isn’t necessarily what everyone wants. Rather, exploring and building different elements into our work (ultimately life) and in the process claiming the ‘slash’ titles is actually something to take pride in.
Because aside from allowing creativity into what we do each day, the slash also means that as we slowly let go of self doubt, we give ourselves permission to explore our passions, and we invite confidence in. So, what I now own in the slash, is not the taunting voice of before, the one that told me “you’re doing so many things because you’re not focussed or good enough at one”. Instead, the slash as I now grasp it, is living to create meaning in all that I (we) do each day. That meaning comes from a number of elements, not just one. Meaningful careers are there, but we just have to be open to how they evolve and the hats we truly want to wear to create the value for ourselves in what we do with our work.
Photo: Julie Adams for The Downtime Agenda