When Your Passion Becomes Your Career
I’ve always been interested in the world of multi-location careers, this is why I was very excited to interview world traveller and former Soul Career client Mari-Anne Daura. Mari-Anne is an American who lives in Denmark and works in Sweden. I met Mari-Anne when she joined the Soul Career program, and she has turned out to be one of our amazing success stories. During our interview, Mari-Anne shared her journey towards her role at IKEA. And offers her tips for anyone who is in the process of finding their Soul Career.
Mari-Anne is a true citizen of the world. She was born in Zambia and grew up in Morgan Town, West Virginia, USA. As a teenager, she moved back to Zambia, where she finished high school. After high school, Mari-Anne moved to Australia to study for her undergraduate degree in Law. However, after three years at law school, she realized that she was not committed or connected to the idea of practising law. She then moved back to the US to study Marketing at West Virginia University (WVU) and finally to Sweden to study international marketing and brand management. After completing her master’s degree she moved to Copenhagen, where she has been living and working for the past 8 years.
Mari-Anne is a Communications Business Partner at IKEA. As a Communication Business Partner Mari-Anne advises and supports the business in its strategic objectives regarding sustainability and social equity. She also supports IKEA as it relates to communication with the public regarding its projects. In a nutshell, her role is to help IKEA to come across as a purpose-led brand. Some notable projects she has contributed to include: A Place to Call Home – a project that helps provide refugees with decent living conditions. Mari-Anne is also proud of the work IKEA has done to help refugees integrate into society. Her ability to both earn an income while helping humanity is what she finds fulfilling. This is also a perfect fit with her INFJ Myers Briggs personality type. This personality is known as ‘the advocate,’ I find that people with the NF personality types are particularly drawn to the impact space.
Mari-Anne found Soul Career while she was in the process of leaving her previous job. At the time, she was considering transitioning into entrepreneurship and thought that getting some guidance from a career coach would be beneficial. She was referred to us by a mutual contact who suggested that career coaching could help her get a clearer picture of what motivates her and what she wants to do with her life.
Mari-Anne said that she took advantage of many of our strategic job search tips. However, what she appreciated the most was our focus on uncovering who you are and opening your mind to different possibilities. Mari-Anne believes that our focus on shifting and opening one’s mindset helped her move beyond her limiting beliefs.
The job search can be difficult. This is true even when you live in a country with a strong social system like Denmark. Mari-Anne stated that although she considers herself entrepreneurial, her job search was particularly arduous. It took her roughly eight months to find another job, (she attributes some of this to the fact that she is a migrant). Throughout this time, she repeatedly questioned her decision to leave her previous position simply because it didn’t speak to her soul. The job search can be difficult. This is true even when you live in a country with a strong social system like Denmark. Mari-Anne stated that although she considers herself entrepreneurial, her job search was particularly arduous. It took her roughly eight months to find another job, (she attributes some of this to the fact that she is a migrant). Throughout this time, she repeatedly questioned her decision to leave her previous position simply because it didn’t speak to her soul. She credits her ability to survive this time period to her perseverance and in the end, believes she made the right decision.
Mari-Anne insists that she has found her home at IKEA. She enjoys working with a team that values the same things she does and feels that there is room for growth in her current role. Though she is interested in eventually having a side-hustle, she has no plans to leave IKEA and is excited to see what the future holds for her in this role.
Mari-Anne shared three tips for anyone who is still experimenting and searching for their Soul Career. First, trust yourself, listen to your body and ask yourself if this is what you want to do. Second, try to connect your career to something that you would do without being paid. Doing this will provide you with financial and social benefits. Finally, re-evaluate your mindset. Try to get rid of self-limiting beliefs and open yourself up to career possibilities. Doing this will enable you to expand your search horizon.
I think there is a lot we can learn from Mari-Anne’s journey. First, Mari-Anne’s career has involved a lot of experimentation and change. She has lived in multiple countries and changed her educational trajectory and career several times. While this experimentation might seem risky to some. Mari-Anne believes that her experience in a variety of industries has given her unique experiences which she can lean on to this day. Second, Mari-Anne’s story teaches us the importance of staying true to yourself and what you are called to do in this world. You can compensate for some aspects of your personality with training and effort, but over the long term, the real you will always try to emerge, you need to acknowledge and honour the real you from the beginning because that’s where the rewards are. Finally, I think that we tend to glamourize entrepreneurship, especially coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are many benefits from having a stable 9 to 5 career including, mentorship opportunities, a source of income, being part of a team and more. Pursuing a corporate career does not necessarily have to be negative working with the right team and for the right company can be fulfilling.
That’s all for this post. Be sure to check out my interview with Mari-Anne on the Soul Career YouTube channel. Till next time.