The Hole In Your Soul

Would you consider yourself satisfied?  I mean, in general, with your day to day existence, your work, your life?  The Covid-19 crisis may leave you with time to reflect on this key question and reveal – a hole in your soul.

Most people we encounter can imagine a better life. For example, more compensation, less work, more power, a broader scope, more opportunity, or a new industry. Maybe it is less boring and repetitive work, more recognition, a smarter and kinder boss, better colleagues, a more supportive home life, more free time… In short, a better life.

Personally, I think this is baked into our genome, this sense of something lacking, this Hole in your Soul. 

Allegedly there is a place in our brains called the hypothalamus that is the seat of appetite.  I’ve always pictured this as a rotary dial telephone that could be rotated to focus on food, wine, cigarettes, sex, power, friendship… So that the specific hunger is not causative but rather an expression of this underlying dissatisfaction. That, as I say, is probably part of our fundamental make up. 

Perhaps this Hole in the Soul helped our ancestors realize that hanging out in a tree and eating leaves all day was not enough.  It forced us to climb down, stand up, and free our hands from locomotion. So that we could get on with the task of becoming human.

Whatever the reason, you can see the effects of this underlying dissatisfaction with the status quo everywhere.  Consider “continuous improvement” as a manufacturing or management philosophy.  Or competitive sports and their obsession with stats, the stock market, or the job market.

It seems to me that the Covid-19 crisis offers us all an opportunity to reflect on the size and shape of the hole in our respective souls.  Is it small and easily ignored or a devastating crater?   Can you manage it under the current terms of your life or does it require fundamental change?

Many of us live with a huge burden of dissatisfaction, sometimes bitter resentment even. We carry this with us day to day as it gnaws at our innards and sours our perspective.

To the extent that you feel this Hole in your Soul, admit it, and want to address it through the channel of your career, relief is in sight.  

At the Barrett Group, we meet thousands of executives every year (virtually). We help them evaluate their relative dissatisfaction, establish whether they have a marketable track record, and if so, how we might help them make that case to the market.  Sometimes it is a change of role, a step up organizationally. Or a change of geography, better culture, or a different industry.  Almost always, we help our clients earn more money.

They tell us how satisfied they are afterwards with glowing testimonials such as this one:

“Laura [his Clarity Coach] was fantastic and tremendously insightful and helpful!  She has a phenomenal way of making an immediate connection and creating a comfortable environment in which we worked.  I really enjoyed my interactions with Laura and have walked away with a greater sense of me… THANK YOU LAURA!!!”
[Jeffrey Vortolomei, March 2020]

Our process begins with the Clarity Program©, the Targeting component, that helps clients discover how they may be able to reduce that Hole in the Soul through a more comfortable working life.  The program continues then with the support of a six-member team that accompanies the client through the personal branding (Packaging), Market Access, Preparation (interviews and negotiation), and On-boarding phases.

We have been helping executives clarify their career objectives and then go out and get the job of their dreams for thirty years. Our clients benefit from all of that accumulated experience—more than any one candidate could ever amass on his or her own.

So consider the Hole in your Soul.  Perhaps it is time to address it through a more meaningful or rewarding career.  If so, we can help.

Peter Irish
The Barrett Group

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