top of page
Line separator


Career Ikigai - your reason for getting up in the morning to go to work!

According to Gallup, a research-based, global performance-management consulting company, 85% of full-time workers around the world are either not engaged at their jobs or downright hate them. Only 15%  of the world’s one billion full-time workers are enthusiastic about their work! This report has determined that we are in the middle of a full-blown Worldwide Employee Engagement Crisis. This is why we at Firestarter have developed our Career Ikigai Career Planning and Development Process.

What is Career Ikigai?

IKIGAI is a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being.” CAREER IKIGAI is the “reason to jump out of bed each morning and go to work.” A reason to be excited for Monday mornings instead of dreading them!


The Career Ikigai framework systematically addresses the following four work foundations:


What you LOVE 

What the world NEEDS

What you can be PAID FOR

What you are GOOD AT 


These followed in order will help you to discover your own Career Ikigai - “reason for being” or “why you go to work”.

Click on image to enlarge!


What makes you jump up out of bed each morning and go to work?

Do you feel a strong emotional connection to your work? Does your work make you “happy”? Does your work provide you with the motivation to persist to higher levels of success and satisfaction? Are you driven by purpose, a reason for being in your work? If you answered yes, then you have achieved Career Ikigai! 


If your answer is no, reflect on the following questions focusing in on the four foundations of Career Ikigai  with your current work in mind:


What You Love

  • Is your work something you’re truly passionate about? Could you enthusiastically talk about your industry and/or profession for hours on end?

  • Are you emotionally connected to the result(s) of your work? 

  • If you weren’t concerned about money, would you still do what you’re doing?


What The World Needs

  • Are you helping to solve an actual problem? 

  • Is the marketplace demanding what you have to offer? Are people willing to part with their resources (money, time, attention, trust, loyalty, love, etc.) to buy what you’re offering?

  • Will this work still be needed 10 years from now? How about 100 years from now? If not, will the value of your work today increase over time?


What You Can Be Paid For

  • Lately, have you been paid for what you do? Have you ever been paid for what you do? If not, are other people being paid for this work?

  • Are you already making a good living doing what it is that you’re doing? Can you eventually make a good living doing this work?

  • Is there a healthy amount of competition in your industry? Are there other people who can do what you do, but better?


What Are You Good At

  • Are you useful? Is what you do something that your friends/family/community have sought your advice/opinion on before?

  • Are you among the best in your workplace/community at this? How about in your city? In your country? In the world?

  • With some more education and experience, could you master what you do?

The following are the steps to help you determine if you are achieving Career Ikigai:

If you answered all of the 12 questions definitively with either a YES or NO then you have what you need to recalibrate and realign your career. If you’ve answered affirmatively to all 3 questions within a circle (ie. What You Love, etc.), keep doing what you’re doing; you have achieved Career Ikigai!

Spend your days focusing on what's missing in all of the other circles. Do the work that will make all answers in all circles YES. Make your next career choices by pivoting on the locked circles. Once you answer YES to all 12 questions, congratulations! You’ve discovered your reason for work— your Career Ikigai.

Team Firestarter can help!

If you don’t like the work you are doing, first ask yourself: is this work I am doing aligned with my Ikigai? If it’s not, that’s okay. You can change and we can help! 
You have countless opportunities to iterate and iterate. As long as you’re intentional about finding it! We can help you discover your true purpose. And look — one job might not give you everything you need. Your career is comprised of many things: hobbies, side-hustles, volunteering, etc. However, you do spend a lot of time at work. Over a 50-year career, you’ll spend 92,100 hours at work — roughly 35% of your total waking hours, to be exact. And if you hate your job, it could be getting in the way of your optimal health, wealth, relationships and happiness.
Regain control of your career. It will take time to discover your Career Ikigai. You owe it to yourself! Let our Career Coaches help you to discover your intrinsic motivation for work—work that makes you feel engaged and happy. We will help you find your Career Ikigai and you’ll realize just how little 92,100 hours actually is!

Career Ikigai
bottom of page