7 minutes with Laura Casares

It was such a thrill to get in touch again with Laura Casares after years without seeing each other. Last time we met, she was a procurement executive in a global fashion company. In 2019, Laura decided to rethink herself and she launched a project called Kasares, where she connects both her professional and vital selves. At Kasares, Laura helps individuals to line up their talents with their professional roles and organisations to boost the authenticity of their co-workers. To achieve this, Laura blends coaching with purpose and Ichigai.

1.How comes that a procurement director turns into a purpose expert?
When you have been spending 20 years working in different roles in huge corporate, you wonder it this is what you really want to do during the following 20 years. This is how I started to look for my purpose.
I gave up my permanent job after considering very seriously what I would like to do. I was resolute to create my own business, for I wanted to be independent and flexible to work on different projects. Following my purpose path and driven by my curiosity, I started to help people who were in similar situations using my knowledge and experience and so I found my potential.
My contribution to make people grow both personally and professionally is the outcome of mixing my talents, learnings, experience and passion. I thrive for bringing value to society by using the tools and techniques I learnt throughout the way and by being very awake to creation, innovation and constant learning.

2.Why is it key to understand your purpose to evolve?
In my opinion, the key is the fact of realizing that we all came to this world to evolve and grow as human beings. We all are born with natural talents and with challenges to overcome and we will all grow thanks to our knowledge, experiences and curiosity. The question is in which direction. Of course, understanding our purpose is a powerful force that helps us to grow and evolve towards a specific goal. Purpose will bring meaning to what we do. In a way, purpose is our inner compass showing us what is the next step in our evolution.

3.What does Ikigai mean and how do you use it in your projects?
Ikigai is the Japanese word for purpose, the meaning of life. There is a town in Japan where people live 100 years or longer because they put Ikigai into practice. The Ikigai model is the result of combining your passion, talents, values and service to your community. If you manage to blend all these concepts in your day to day, you are living your Ikigai.
In most of the cases I work on and also in my own experience, professional people are aware of their talents and they are paid for it. According to the Ikigai model, they are in their professional zone, which means they feel comfortable with their job and salary. In spite of this, they feel empty.
When you are in that empty zone, you do not feel fulfilled, but you cannot explain why. You follow your routine and you feel guilty because you live in a kind of luxurious comfort zone: your ego, your personality, your mind feel safe and at ease. However your inner you, your heart and intuition, feel they are faded, in the shadow, neglected.
Here is when I can be useful guiding this person to close the circle to live his/her purpose.
At a company level, it is exactly the same. Many businesses forget the meaning they originally used to have. They forgot their direction during their growth process. They do not know their internal talent either, so they do not use their own resources. Thanks to the Ikigai model they can design a new direction, refresh their purpose and share it with their teams to make the company thrive in the same direction.

4.What are the steps you follow in a career transitioning process?
You can clearly identify three steps:
The first one is that empty zone we talked about, when you start to question your situation. This might take a long time, like a slowly cooked stew. There is a moment though, where you start to explore other options (by your own decision or after a burn out, a sickness leave or simply after a redundancy).
On the second step you explore different options, alone or with support. When you reach this point, you set off for a wonderful discovery trip to prospect different scenarios. Gradually, a new inner flame brings back your lost joy and hopes. In other cases you might be in a spiral of fear and self-limitation which do not let you see the light. It is then crucial to listen to your inner voice, your heart and intuition.
The third step is courage: Off we go! At this point, you are resolute to embrace change in a more or less radical way, depending on the situation. Whatever the case, you are determined to change and you go for it.

5.What would you advice to somebody who does not feel vitally lined up with his or her professional role?
First of all, you are not alone. Many people have been through the same situation before! If you need it, do not hesitate to seek support. There are plenty of mentors, experts, coaches, trainers, books, sessions, etc. out there to help you!
My second piece of advice: look inside and do not let the outside trick you. Traditionally, we have been trained to find the answers in the outside, when in reality they are deep inside. It is very important to find balance between your two inner voices: reason and intuition. It is all about being coherent with your words and actions and with your thoughts and feelings. Polarisation will bring you to the extreme sides, so you must seek balance. Your circle might give you support, but it will not always happen like this. Thus, your determination will be crucial to keep you focused.

Many thanks for sharing your inspiration with us, Laura!

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