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Do You Experience “Flow” in Your Career?

I know numerous people who simply don’t recognize that their life’s work can be more inspiring, fulfilling, and purposeful.

Instead, they go through their day on “autopilot” never really engaging in their work or responsibilities.

It doesn’t have to be this way though.

We can become more absorbed in what we do by shaping our routine to offer us challenges and opportunities to stretch our skills, and by having clear goals and feedback about the progress being made.

This experience of complete absorption in the present moment describes “flow.” People who follow their passions and use their natural talents in daily life and work experience more flow.

When was the last time you can remember being completely immersed in what you were doing, and where time just seemed to fly by?

Hopefully you can recall a time when this was the case, but if you’re feeling stuck in a dead end job, with no satisfaction, you can strive to increase moments of flow.

First though, which category do you fall in?

Job – Are you working specifically for the paycheck with little or no interest in the work? If there was no paycheck, would you still be doing the work?  If there’s no real upward mobility or opportunities to advance, and no real connection to the tasks you do this is a plain and simple job.

Career – A career offers more of a chance to be engaged and use your skills. With a career you are probably invested in the position, and have a chance to be promoted to a more prestigious position. A career can be fulfilling if you’re working in an area of interest and using your natural talents.

Calling – A calling is what you would do regardless of pay. These are the activities you are enthusiastic and excited about. Your calling is something that you love to do and where you get to use your strengths and talents on a consistent basis. It gives you energy and provides intrinsic motivation and moments of flow.

If you haven’t quite found you’re calling, hopefully you’re in a position that offers some flexibility in your role or routine where you can begin to incorporate your strengths, talents, and gifts.

I believe it’s in an organizations best interest to provide opportunities for employees to become more engaged and absorbed in what they do. By helping employees discover their strengths and putting these to use, organizations will likely experience less turnover and an increase in productivity.

Here are a few ideas for managers and leaders to consider.

How to help employees experience more flow

  • Learn what peoples’ signature strengths are. (go here for strengths assessment)
  • Match challenges of job to employee’s skills.
  • Set defined goals with employee where strengths can help improve organizations mission.
  • Provide employees immediate feedback when possible.

We live in a day and age where people are looking for greater job satisfaction and are willing to work for less to do what they love. Companies who recognize and are willing to embrace this new paradigm will be better able to retain their employees and have a more industrious and dynamic personnel.

Photo credit: leepus

Do You Experience “Flow” in Your Career?

Joe Wilner

Joe Wilner is a life coach, licensed clinical psychotherapist (LCP), and drummer from the band Yes You Are. He is also creator of You Have a Calling, a blog and online community helping people discover and pursue their life’s work and mission. Through deep and personalized coaching, he helps ambitious, creative, and spiritually minded individuals make a greater impact, grow as leaders, and design a soulful life they are inspired by.

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APA Reference
Wilner, J. (2011). Do You Experience “Flow” in Your Career?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 27 Feb 2011
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