What drives people to work and succeed? There are two main sources of motivation in careers: being yourself (ESSENCE) and seeking the approval of others (EGO). So, it can be your career, it can be “theirs,” or some combination of the two.

A lot of career unhappiness derives from an unsatisfied Ego. And the more a person feels bad about what she has or has not “accomplished,” the more she may neglect being herself.

From the time we hold our breath and show our school report cards to our parents, we sense that approval-seeking is the game. Parents morph into teacher, bosses, customers, and the general public. We want them all to say we’re great!

The biggest problem with Ego fulfillment is that people never get enough. More is always better. Their contracts are only renewed a year at a time. Once they attain a certain level of approval, they feel obligated to maintain it.

“What have you done for me lately?” is a chilling question.

People who are excessively Ego-driven often say things to themselves such as:

“When I _____________, only then will I be happy.”

“I want to ____________ by the time I’m _________ (age).”

“I won’t rest until I ____________.”

Ego is very future-oriented and results-oriented. Essence is very present-oriented. Ego-oriented individuals worry about “how it’s going to turn out.” Essence-oriented professionals accept outcomes and assume that being themselves will work out OK.

Ego is a voracious devourer of career energy. Our culture glamorizes success, celebrity, money, and status, so that people are constantly seeking them. In the process, they may lose the peace of mind and happiness that comes from being themselves.

Essence asks that you live entirely in the present, letting her energy go where it takes her. In Essence, a career choice is not a plan, but answering, “What do I want to be doing right now?” Essence is you turning to your intuition, inner energies and deepest drives.

EGO/ESSENCE – an interesting conundrum…

Best wishes and keep networking alive,

Rod Colón, Career Coach, Professional Speaker & Author

CEO & Director of Career Management

Empowering Today’s Professionals

Running the Business of "ME"


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