5 Pathways to a Meaningful Career : Part One. Pathway of Concern


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“I think the hardest and most challenging thing for an entrepreneur is to find the inner strength to keep going, the belief that the goal is possible.” Karen Tse

As we talked about in How to find a Meaningful Career, pursuing a meaningful career is a lot about aligning your head and heart and putting that to action through your work.


So, what can guide you and pull you on this journey?

And, what can be the driving motivation when challenges arise and light that keeps you going in the hard times?

We’ve spent a lot of time researching this over the last few years; through our work on The Future Makers book and the stories on our online portal, thefuturemakers.net.

Based on close to 300 in-depth conversations, we’ve identified five paths that people tend to follow when deciding to shape their careers with positive impact.

Pathway One: Path of Concern.



The path of concern begins with just that. A concern. A serious deficit; something that is lacking in your or others’ worlds and that has been troubling your mind again and again.

Many of our Future Makers had identified a problem without a satisfactory solution, often through travelling, working or reading. Once they became aware of this problem, they found that they couldn’t push ahead with their lives or work without trying to solve it.

With imperturbable belief they worked on a solution until they were able to convince others to help them solve the issue.


Karen Tse

Karen is an inspiring example of this path.  As she helped rebuild the Cambodian judicial system, she had to experience on a daily basis what brutal consequences legal systems have for many innocent people if they are improperly implemented.

Karen followed her path of concern. She couldn’t accept the situation and saw a solution; she founded the organisation International Bridges to Justice.

You can read Karen’s full story here.


Identifying your concern – the right questions to ask

If you really care about changing something, start with these questions. Work through them, one by one, however suits you best. Be it a mind map, a doodle or a spreadsheet, it doesn’t matter.

What matters is to identify what it is you care about.


  • What are the problems in this world that I am most concerned with, for example, when watching the news? What is it that bothers me specifically?
  • Is there a concern I always wanted to match with a good solution – but simply haven’t taken the time to do so?
  • Have I already thought through problems that I care about, perhaps even come up with some ideas for a solution?


If you don’t see yourself on this path, that’s also fine. Look out for our next posts covering the paths of talent, effect, values and passion over the coming weeks.


More on pathways to a meaningful career

We’ll be sharing other stories from the path of concern on Twitter, Facebook and Linked In, via The Future Makers portal, throughout January.

The Future Makers/ Die Zukunftsmacher book, by Joanna Stefenska Hafenmayer and Wolfgang Hafenmayer is available from Amazon in both English and German.

Watch out for Part Two: Pathway of Talent in the first week of February…


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