Lightbox Loves: Ikigai. Yes, that.

First, let’s rewind to October 2016.

Life was so much simpler back then. The nights drew in, we started to decline social arrangements, and Netflix was calling. Suddenly, we were all about the hygge (hoo-gah) lifestyle. Direct from Denmark, the UK went crazy for this idea of cosy, contented living. See how the interest in this Scandi concept grew quickly, obsessed us for a winter, and then fell out of favour in the UK.

As autumn is in full swing once more, I got to thinking, Carrie Bradshaw style, about what other exotic concept we could look to adapt as a nation – given our current state of play as a country is, well, stressful. Enter Ikigai.

For those blissfully unaware, Ikigai is a concept straight from Japan, which means “a reason for being”. It’s the sweet spot where what you love, what you can be paid for, what you are good at, and what the world needs, all intersect.

Now the time is nigh for the Ikigai concept to truly take root in the UK.

If you consider the cultural trends towards career breaks*, calls to curtail the 5 day working week*, the appetite for side hustles*, higher tuition fees and declining university admissions* along with an impending financial crisis, we’re veering towards the perfect storm for millennials who get itchy feet as they arrive at around a decade in the workforce.

Brand purpose is already a hot topic, with CSR, environmental and societal credentials a must-have to be considered for purchase by a millennial audience. What is less often considered is how these types of concerns factor into the career choices of the Gen Y workforce. Moving forward, could companies utilise the concept of Ikigai to promote their own employer brand to a highly selective and sensitive Gen Z workforce? Only time will tell.