The Millennial Career Dilemma Series By Shubika Bilkha
“The Cave You Fear to Enter Holds the Treasure Your Seek”
Joseph Campbell in 1949 in his work The Hero with a Thousand Faces popularized the hero myth narrative framework of the monomyth or the hero’s journey that can be found across ancient mythology, modern day adventure, fairy tales, our favourite TV shows and even in Bollywood! It is a powerful tool that is used successfully in leadership and personal development as it relies primarily on self-belief, your own initiative and resilience.
Campbell’s monomyth is premised on 17 stages that the hero has to endure before the hero returns more evolved to Stage 0. The journey begins with a call to adventure, a crisis and adversity, the falling of the hero and then the defeat of the hero’s inner and external enemies towards victory. This step-by-step cyclical format takes the hero out of her comfort zone to challenge her to defeat the most troubling demons and achieve future success.
As we anxiously wait for the next season of Game of Thrones and I wade through my reams of research in preparation for my workshop on the Hero’s Journey next week, I couldn’t help but relate this framework to the current challenges of our millennial career seekers.
So, how then can you as a mere graduate or early career aspirant take charge of your professional journey by being your own hero:
Step 1- Call to Adventure
Whether you are currently at university or enjoying the cushion of your current job, what are the challenges that we foresee in our professional or entrepreneurial journeys. What lies ahead for us, what can we not see and what are those temptations that we are actively or subconsciously resisting?
Step 2- The Looming Crisis
As we enjoy the world of stability and embrace our ‘calling’, what are those fires in the distance or dreaded problems that we can see that could hamper our journey to success? How do we identify these issues right now in our journey?
Step 3- The Falling Hero
Remember my Failure Syndrome article, how can we apply the failure framework to describe mistakes, blunders or potential downfalls of the hero in this journey. What is not working in our favour?
Step 4: The Battle
Who are the internal and external enemies that we need to defeat to get to the next stage of our journey? How do we overcome them? And who are our allies, mentors, captains and our crew who we can rely on during this battle?
Step 5: Victory
What does success look like for us at the end of this journey? What have we learned in the process that has made us wiser, more knowledgeable and more evolved as a result of this journey? And what’s next?
In my profession of working with a number of millennial executives, students, millennial leaders and entrepreneurs, I have found the framework to be a powerful exercise in their individual journey. While we always look to the narratives of leaders or hero’s or mythology to guide us on our path to success, how can we change our perspective and become the heroes of our life, career and leadershipjourney!
About the Author
Shubika Bilkha is currently the Founding Partner of Edpower-U. She is a dynamic entrepreneur, trained executive coach, media spokesperson, author and corporate advisor with experience that spansthe financial, technology, ecommerce, education and real estate sectors in India and Internationally. As the managing Director of two early stage start-ups in technology and education, Shubika has hands on experience in all aspects of these businesses. She was recently the Managing Director of a leading vocational training institute in India and has worked with a number of leaders across industry, government and the educational ecosystem in India and the UK.
She is also a published author with her first book widely distributed. Shubika is an alumna of Mount Holyoke College, USA and Columbia Business School, USA; an Associate Member of the Chartered Securities Institute (CSI) in the UK; and has completed the “Building Excellence in Higher Educational Institutions” at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad. She is a trained Executive Coach with CTI, UK in line with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) ACC guidelines.