Why Career On Purpose?


Once upon a time, there was a little girl called Ji Sun Kyung. Famine was raging in South Korea. She was found at a doorstep, probably a few hours after her birth. A common situation in those times. She was brought to the nearest orphanage and, 7 months later, was sent to Brittany, the wildest and proudest part of France – the other regions will forgive me –, to join those who were soon to become her parents.

I feel lucky and grateful to be alive.

In that welcoming environment, the graft worked: the little girl took root and grew up well. She had this peculiarity that she always wanted to be the best in class, which was a bit hollow but she was fortunate to achieve it without too much effort – she naively thought it was her but it turns out this quirk affects a lot of adopted kids, who knows why…

To the question “What will you do when you grow up?”, she had various answers from early childhood to end of high school: ballet dancer (but the lessons were so repetitive), veterinary (until she heard they sometimes had to euthanize animals), ice skating champion (the Olympics of course), fashion designer (unfortunately she heard there were no prospects), ambassador (as an introvert, the idea of having to shake hands at endless cocktail parties was dissuasive though)…

She would have loved to study Psychology, unfortunately the Philosophy teacher indicated that it was for losers.

In the end, having no idea what she would do with her life, she went to study Literature because she enjoyed reading and then went to studies that were generalist enough to give herself more time to decide, and prestigious enough to open doors: Political Sciences. Despite excellent teachers, she soon realized it was not really her thing – except Sociology maybe, but the sociologists who make a career are so few... She persevered anyway and managed to reach the finish line, but her heart was not exactly into it. 

Then she decided to go for Human Resources Development.

Having spent two decades playing the good student, the last years feeling more and more like it was time to discover the real world, she thought it would be nice to help people be happy at work. Note that she has not evolved that much since then :)

So off she went, with a light heart. "And she lived happily ever after." This could have been the perfect ending!

Except that things turned out slightly differently...

From junior HR consultant in a start up to global HR specialist in a multinational, I’ve worked on many initiatives in most HR areas, with many great leaders – and some less so but shhh... I’ve learnt that the workplace was not a bed of roses and worked hard to make it.

Like you, I have given a lot of myself to the job, there were some rewards and some disappointments.

But overall I did not find what I had signed up for.

Have you ever noticed how often the H, the human side or HR, has to be left out for the R of Resources?

Despite ambitious strategic plans and good intentions. I saw how much damage that created. I saw people struggling. I saw that, past a certain level, instead of truly giving them the means to succeed, acknowledging their efforts or helping them to course correct, it was rather a game of musical chairs. No wonder why people lose the spirit. It felt like walking on the head. Absurd.

Have you ever found yourself fighting for causes that in the end proved to be worthless? Personally, I've exhausted myself doing that.

Nevertheless, that’s when you reach the bottom of the ocean that you can give a big kick to the sand and go up again. And breathe.

That’s what I did. I took a step back to – at last – seriously reexamine what I wanted from life. And after turning in circles for a while, thanks to the sagacity of my own coach, I realized it was so simple, it was there since the beginning:

Help people be happy at work! 

In a way that gives the place it deserves to the H, the human side of HR. Not just that it works better this way.

But because we spend most of our life at work.

Because our work, whatever form it takes, can be one of the most powerful means to self-actualize and contribute.

Because we’re lucky to be alive.

Is that the only thing I could do to make good use of this time on Earth? Of course not! But that’s a cause I deeply care about.

Am I an idealist? Yes! But with a healthy dose of pragmatism.

From corporate HR to executive coaching and entrepreneurship, it was not easy, but I did it. I’ve learnt enormously, often the hard way, and having some of the best in the field as my mentors.

Let me tell you right away: I am not a finished product – rather the opposite in fact: I keep chasing... and will most likely do so for a while :)

But I made the leap. And many others have done it too.

So can you.

If beyond the derision of my story you can relate, that’s a first step forward:

Where are you discarding your dreams without having even tried?

Where are you persisting whereas you should pivot?

Where are you holding yourself back?

Who are you trying to prove yourself to?

What are your old patterns costing you?

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You don’t have to settle.

You can build a meaningful career.

You can become the authentic leader you want to be.

You can get away from the wheel and rebalance your life.

It’s a matter of choice. And work ;)

If you’re truly longing for it, I’ll be very glad to give you the equipment you need for the journey.

Are you ready to spread your wings?

Oh, and if you’d like a more traditional biography, you can find it here.

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