As seen in the Huffington Post
So, you’re not a morning person? May be you were in your school or university days, but now? No way! You would give anything to be able to snooze that alarm just one more time. Literally dragging yourself out of bed every morning to drive as slow as you possibly can, to get to a place you just don’t want to be in, pretty much sums up your stifling and crippling work routine.
Most of my clients come to me saying “I don’t know what I want. Despite all my efforts, I can’t figure out what I want to do.” I find it fascinating that so many people have lost touch with who and what they want to be professionally. Who would have believed that there could be millions of people working in jobs and careers they hate, not able to figure out how they want to be of service in the world? We like to blame the economy and environment for our problems but don’t we all know the root cause for our unhappiness is much deeper than that.
Here’s the deal. We are all built to be morning people. We are wired to wake up in the morning brimming with excitement and positive energy, rejuvenated from a good night sleep and ready to take on a new day with all the wonderful opportunities it has to offer. Purpose is what inspires us to get up in the morning to do what we do. It is an expression of our deepest motivations, the core around which we orient our time and our life direction.
How to find purpose in your career? Sharing with you 7 effective steps to identify and execute career purpose:
1. Are you really happy?
Putting a lid on your feelings to stay in that predictable and stable zone you’re so comfortable with, comes with a huge price tag. Allow yourself some time for deep introspection and ask honestly, are you really happy with what you do? Discount the sporadic rough days and weeks and look at a bigger time horizon. Are you struggling with burnout, or have you completely lost the will to pursue your chosen career path? In my case, I was drained of the passion to actually continue with my career in FMCG marketing, but I kept chalking it up to exhaustion due to lack of clarity on what is it that I want to do next. If your goals no longer excite you, it’s time to start asking yourself if this is truly what you want.
2. Get yourself out of the cage you are trapped in
Are you holding onto certain rigid beliefs and costly assumptions that are no longer serving you? E.g. “I am not good enough”, “I don’t have what it takes to reinvent myself”, “I need to earn XX $ to live the life I want”, “My marriage or family won’t be able to take it” and so on.
Acknowledge that these are beliefs, not truths! This is often the hardest step and here’s where choice comes in. Are you more interested in defending your limitations to death or achieving your goals and desires? As author Evelyn Waugh wrote, “When we argue for our limitations, we get to keep them.” You choose.
3. Identify your GPV – gifts, passions and values
Self-discovery and awareness is the entry ticket to living a purposeful life. According to Richard Leider, the formula for knowing your career purpose is Gifts + Passions +Values. Together, they form your calling. “Gifts” prompts you to consider your strengths. Start with understanding what you’re good at and how you can leverage these strengths in crafting a career you could excel in. Next, “passions” is essentially asking: What do you love to do? If you had to leave your house all day for 365 days a year, what would you spend it doing? And finally, “values” are all about your lifestyle and personality. What is nonnegotiable about the way you work? Your values are your moral compass – the operating principles that form the base of your belief system. You take your values with you wherever you go. According to Leider, altogether, using your gifts toward something you are invested in and in an environment that suits your values will lead you to your calling.
How to do it?
Well, certainly not by yourself. You can’t solve a problem on the level it was created. You need to work with an expert who could help you identify your values, talents, skills and capabilities. Someone who could help you overcome those limiting beliefs that are coming in the way of achieving what you’re capable of. Find a career coach or mentor who’s knowledgeable, successful and fulfilled in what they do, someone you look up to and who doesn’t have an agenda about where you net out.
4. Discover the career options that line up with who you are
After taking an inward dive into your core and looking at what you love to do, what the world needs, what you are good at and what pays well, you would be able to find your career sweet spot. From there you would jump into the external world and explore the career options that are the best fit for you. There is never one magic answer. Start by looking into a range of possibilities that align with who you are and make use of your strengths in the best way possible. You will narrow down the choices and ultimately choose your career, with your new found motivation and brimming confidence.
5. Don’t delete it all
When something is not working, often times, we are tempted to chuck the whole thing out. Don’t make that mistake. If you have been working in a career for few years now, you’ve gained knowledge, experience and you might want to continue to draw on a few things that work. Conduct a thorough assessment of what you would like to preserve and maintain in your current career, and get rid of only the parts that make you feel sad and frustrated. For me, it was a no brainer that I build on my business and brand management experience as I move on to becoming a career and business coach for millennials.
6. Network your way into your next career
You cannot get anywhere in life and work if you don’t have help. No matter where you are in your career, you need people to help you launch to the next level. Now that you’re clear on your new career path, start building a more powerful network of loyal colleagues and influential managers who can endorse your work happily. Utilize LinkedIn fully, reaching out to relevant people for help and offering endorsements to people you respect. Attend networking meetings and events, take a class or course with other exciting, like-minded professionals, and the list goes on.
7. Build your unique personal brand
Do you often find yourself stammering when someone catches you off guard and asks ‘tell me about yourself’? Every blog post you write, every picture you upload, every tweet you send, every status update you share, builds your personal brand. Once that inner work of identifying your gifts, passion and values to figure out your career purpose is done, it is now time to communicate that beautiful self of yours externally in the most compelling and intriguing way. It is absolutely critical that you package your strengths and skills in a way that produces value, in a way that communicates your unique journey, your story.
Are you a millennial student about to choose your career path? Or a young professional who has stepped into the corporate world, yet still looking for ‘the right job’? When you are stuck in a job that doesn’t quite fit, you know it, even if you don’t know why. If you are looking for clarity and direction on the right career, get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary session or visit www.directiondose.com to find out how I can help you.
About the Author:
Samia helps millennials to know who they really are, and achieve what they are capable of. She is the founder of Direction Dose – Career and Business coaching for millennials. She’s an ICF certified career coach, NLP Practitioner, writer and speaker, based in Dubai. Having over 9 years of experience at Procter & Gamble in brand management and coaching; Samia knows what it takes for Gen Y to excel and succeed in their careers.