As I scrolled through the endless emails that accumulated overnight, one title caught my eye “Career Exploration: Paying the Bills and Feeding the Soul.”

As I opened the email to learn more I thought of the candidates I’ve worked with over the years, male and female for whom this message resonates. We often connect the nourishing of the soul and spirit with women but it is very much a need common to both genders.

When this need is fulfilled it can have a positive impact on an organization’s culture, customers and bottom line.

Candidates have become better at expressing the need but sadly many companies have failed to realize the value of employing the “whole man (or woman).” Feeding the soul is about connectedness. It is the recognition that your sliver of responsibility is not all there is but contributes to a bigger goal or purpose.

The method of connection will differ for each person. Some value the connection to people, others value the connection to a larger goal and some may value the connection to a mission. Managers that take time to discover employees’ individual needs are rewarded with positive and productive teams who are often the superstars of their organization.

Many employers mistakenly believe that money motivates productivity and inspires loyalty so they address paying the bills but neglect to feed the soul. So often the root of a once happy employee’s discontent can be sourced to this neglect. How often I’ve heard candidates lament over the lack of recognition, or the cold disconnect between corporate mandates and people. Money is necessary but man was meant to be connected as John Donne so eloquently illustrates in No Man Is An Island.

As a career marketing professional a key part of my mission is to help candidates uncover their values and create connections with companies that will feed their families and their souls. And without surprise it is this mission that is the source of my passion, the driving force that awakens me each day with a desire to do more and be more than the previous day.

I believe that as more employers realize the value of feeding the soul we will truly begin to see the power unleashed when potential and purpose are connected. What are your thoughts? How can we usher in a new era in the workplace? How do we satisfy this need in the candidates and companies who trust our expertise?


Views: 111

Comment by Christian Fauchald on March 12, 2009 at 1:39pm
That was deeper than whale turds... and so spot-on with my business philosophy. My mission, while not simply accomplished, is simple stated: I seek to infuse humanity back into business.

The corporate entities which man has created has become master. In our search for wealth, we've created The Matrix, so to speak. Corporations - which we hoped would serve us - are now controlling us. We need to reprioritize. Communicate. CARE about one another. Bring integrity, morality and human connection back into power.

Recently, I was tapped by a VC firm here in Chicago to find a CEO for their holding, a biotech startup in Washington state. This started will provide a quantum leap toward the cure for a certain type of cancer. Still, they are nearly bootstrapping in terms of funding. Yet, somehow they were all completely shocked when I showed them my cost estimates for my services. WHY?!?

This is a startup!
- they must control burn rate in order to stay afloat
- they must conserve funding for R&D
- if they succeed, I will have much more business from them down the road
- most importantly, they will help humanity

Knowing all these things, why would they be so shocked that I wouldn't charge full price, or even that I'd do it for half what the market charges?

It saddens me to think that such a thing would be so rare.

Here's one undeniable truth: we're all in this together... and nobody's getting out alive. It's high time we started acting like it, not just in church on Sunday, but in every hour of the day, ESPECIALLY in business, where our daily decisions have the potential to impact millions of lives down the road.

I refuse to do business with people who aren't like-minded. I don't care how little I make: I'm not about to feed the machine. I have found, over the past few years, that all refusing business does is make more room to surround myself with truly good people and good client companies.... and together, we will succeed.

Ok. I think I just wrote a blog post. ::cut & paste::

Thanks for the inspiration. ;)
Comment by Susan Kang Nam on March 29, 2009 at 7:31am
You are such an inspiration Karen ~ so beautifully written. Thanks Karen :) xo! Susan


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