Augenhöhe literally translated means ‘eye level’, or in other words being on ‘an equal footing’ with someone and communicating ‘as equals’. 

This German film project, which is financed by crowd funding, shows different successful examples of self-organised companies. Themes discussed include Agile Scrum way of working, employees as shareholders, no hierarchy, job sharing, shared decision making, employee empowerment and many more.

The film inspires to reflect on how you work or have worked within companies and how you actually would like to work (what are your favourite working conditions?). See for the movie with subtitles in different languages the Augenhöhe website. There also more information can be found on the overall international project. 



Finding your imperative

One of the first books that I started reading on the topic of finding purpose at work was The Purpose Economy by Aaron Hurst. While that definitely is a recommendation as well, I wanted to highlight the related website On this site you can conduct a so called Individual Purpose Diagnostic, helping you to find out:

  • Who you work to impact – An individual, the society or an organization
  • Why you do what you do – For harmony or for karma
  • How you achieve that – By being community-oriented, structure-driven, human-centered or knowledge-driven

In addition it gives a purpose personality type and an imperative statement.

As an example my results from the Individual Purpose Diagnostic:

My imperative is to work directly with individuals to help them overcome societal barriers by creating their environments and experiences.

Purpose Type: The Giver 

You use your understanding of human needs to find authentic solutions for individuals.

Bildschirmfoto 2016-05-03 um 09.38.46


You change lives by addressing human needs, desires and capabilities. You work to design the optimal conditions needed to improve individual lives. You enjoy uncovering the authentic needs and behaviours of your target audience and conceptualising exciting new ways to create meaningful experiences for each individual. Driven by the desire to level the playing field and create a more just society, you feel especially fulfilled when your contributions are open and accessible to everyone, yet serve individual needs. Your most meaningful moments occur when individuals share their personal stories about how your work contributed to their life in a positive way.

No exact job suggestion, but a bit of direction in terms of the who, why and how of your work! See

How the negative can help

To me it seems a new trend of thinking about the negative opposite in order to motivate yourself. And this is not negative thinking! But by asking questions like ‘Why not?’ and ‘What will happen if I don’t do it?’, you can visualise what you don’t want and go for the opposite and achieve what you do want.

This article by Fastcompany goes one step further by focusing on planning your failure in order to succeed. It describes the following steps:

  1. obstacle-ahead

    (source: jmacrev)

    Think about your top goal.

  2. Write it down.
  3. Give it a timeline (preferably a fairly short one).
  4. Imagine all the potential obstacles you will face in achieving that goal.
  5. Write those obstacles down.
  6. Now come up with an if-then response you will have to each of those obstacles.

It is important for you to be committed and intrinsically motivated about the goal. Also ensure the obstacles and if-then responses are specific, so that whenever that situation occurs you now what to do in order to proceed.

The entire How planning to fail can help you succeed article can be found here.

Why do you actually work?

why leafs

(source: wallpapershacker)

The other day I had a conversation with a group of people about why we actually work. This question is at the core of finding work that gives you purpose.

The topic came to the table as for non-workers (like me currently), the worry can exist how HR managers and recruiters respond to a gap on your CV. But as Warren Buffet said; Taking jobs to build up your resume is the same as saving up sex for old age. Not just start jobs for the sake of making your resume make sense to others (whom all have a different look at it anyway). Do things you enjoy and are excited about and then your resume will follow (even if you don’t get paid for it – this actually brings me to the question ‘what defines a job or work?’, I’ll safe that for later). It is your resume after all.

Of course the bottom line is you need to live. And for that you need food, housing, clothes etc., which can be best obtained with money. And money you can best get by having a job. But without the money reason; why do you then work?

I must say I find this an intriguing question that I have never asked myself before. It’s just one of those things that fit in the entire life line of being born, going to school, studying, graduating and then finding a job… I guess that’s why it’s an uncommon question to ask.

I know I don’t work for status, as I have an allergy for that. Recognition is nice, but that to me is not related to work per se. The closest I get now is to saying that with my work I would like to create a positive social impact. Through being connected with people and also by connecting people with the resources that they need (human, informational or what else). Next step, finding a job or creating one that comes close to that 😉 And lingering a bit more on this uncommon big question, why do you actually (want to) work?

What colour is your parachute?

What color is your parachute by Richard N. Bolles is a practical and insightful book on finding out what you value in work. The book includes several exercises that result in a so-called flower with the following petals:

2015 parachute book

(source: Amazon)

  1. Favourite knowledges or fields of interest
  2. Preferred kinds of people to work with
  3. Favourite transferable skills (what you can do and love to do)
  4. Favourite working conditions
  5. Level of responsibility, salary range and other rewards
  6. Preferred place(s) to live (sooner or later)
  7. Goal, purpose, or mission in life

You then take your top 3 knowledges and top 5 skills and ask around which jobs or work people think of when seeing those themes. Hereafter find out which organisations offer the jobs that appeal to you. Through informational interviews with people in your network you find out more about that type of work. With the ultimate goal to find the job that fits all your flower petals! 

Last year, still in my previous job, I got stuck somewhere along the 3rd petal. Having recently finished all petals, I realised it was not only lack of time and priority back then, but also I couldn’t help to look at the exercise with the point of view from my current job. Now that I am out of that job for some time (and even changed country ;)), I am able to focus really on what I want, regardless of what other people expect of me in or outside work. So the tip is to try to think as freely from job or other people‘s expectations, and focus really on your own wishes!

Now I am procrastinating with the question ‘what job or work do you think about when you read my favourite knowledges and skills?’. So I will put it out here both as an example and request for help!

My favourite knowledges/interests:

  1. Connecting (with) people and information (incl. networking, finding patterns and combinations, sharing ideas and resources).
  2. Ways of working (discovering and trying out new ways of working (e.g. Agile, JobsToBeDone, DesignThinking) but also creating or customising own methods and approaches)
  3. Enabling people by opening up myself (and giving advice on next steps)

My favourite skills:

  1. Discovering (from countries, cultures, cities, books, movies, cafes to new fields, jobs, organisations, ways of working)
  2. Combining parts in a whole
  3. Linking / connecting people
  4. Challenging / critical thinking
  5. Initiating / innovating / inventing


Jodorowsky’s Dune (2014)


Not only highly entertaining, but also infectious motivational. Jodorowsky’s ambition was: ‘to create a movie that gives LSD hallucinations, without taking LSD and through that change the young minds of all the world’.

No dream is too big, just go for it is Jodorowsky’s mindset. Want to have Mick Jagger or Dali in your movie? Why not. Just ask them.

Even if everything doesn’t work out as planned, you will learn something. And the process itself may lead to an unexpected result and may have a (massive) impact. Not only for yourself, but also for others.

See for the trailer of this documentary here or click on the picture. 

What are your four letters?

Figuring out what type of work is for you, starts with knowing yourself. For this there are many exercises and tests, with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) being one of the popular ones.

MBTI is a personality type test. It looks at 16 different personality types, based on four categories:

  1. Where do you focus your attention on? Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).
  2. How do you obtain information? Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
  3. How do you make decisions? Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
  4. How do you deal with the outside world? Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

The test gives you a 4 letter combination, representing your preferences. This may give you more understanding of who you are and also how you deal with others and with situations. MBTI is therefore also a popular tool within team building, to better understand each other within a team.

Examples of free online MBTI tests are 16 personalities and humanmetrics. The test outcomes also include examples of typical jobs for the personality types. 


(source: 16personalities)