Although most of the people that I know are relatively satisfied in their current jobs, many are struggling to figure out their purpose and identify what their “dream job” might be.
If you are not especially passionate about what you’re doing now, it’s quite possible that your purpose is unrelated to your current position—and it could even be something you never considered doing.
I know, because that’s exactly what happened to me! Seven months ago, I was working as an event producer, feeling unfulfilled and anxious about my future. I quit in order to redefine my dream career—and by reigniting old passions and interests, I realized my purpose. It’s changed my life!
For those of you who can relate to this struggle, or are questioning your own career path: asking yourself the following questions might help.
These questions are designed to help you connect the dots between your interests and your experience, and get you closer to realizing your purpose—which should be the driving force behind your dream career.
1. What are your intrinsic strengths?
Taking time to analyze your unique, positive attributes will help you identify the job or industry that will be most fulfilling and rewarding for you.
Think about the skills and traits that you’ve been most complimented on, the times you’ve stood out in school or in your career, and the situations in which you’ve been considered a leader.
In order to get the most accurate assessment of your top attributes, it’s also helpful to ask friends or family to answer this question—about you—as well!
2. What interests would you like to explore?
When I first quit my job, I couldn’t wait to reconnect with interests I’d neglected over the years— such as writing, singing, and experimenting with healthy recipes. Dabbling in old passions reignited my creative side and led to the start of my writing career!
Start by considering activities that make you smile, laugh, and feel most fulfilled—including activities you may have enjoyed when you were younger.
In addition, remind yourself of the skills you’ve always wanted to learn. These could be educational, creative, or even athletic—such as taking an improv class, learning Spanish, photography, coding, or surfing!
Look into webinars, classes, or workshops that will help you develop new skills.
If you’re not sure what you want to learn, a mood board workshop can help get your creative juices going and give you some fresh perspective.
Even if you have a full-time job, it’s important to make time for activities that are uplifting and rewarding! You’ll feel stronger and more confident, and are likely to meet interesting people in the process.
3. What can you contribute to the world?
Finding your purpose means finding work that is meaningful to you, of course, but it also means identifying work that impacts the world in some way.
What change would you like to see in your community, or in the world? Are there any nonprofits that you could get involved with? How could you use your voice, skills, or expertise to help other people?
I started writing about the ups and downs of my career transition because I knew that many people struggle when searching for work, and I wanted to help others feel less anxious and alone.
After receiving positive feedback and support for my writing, I realized that my own “purpose” is to help young women find strength, balance, and fulfillment in their personal and professional lives through my writing and personal experience.
CONNECTING THE DOTS
If you are soul searching or reconsidering your career path in any way, I urge you to spend some time brainstorming your answers to these questions, and writing them down with pen and paper.
When you’re done, try to identify repetitive patterns and themes.
Ask yourself: how can I make more time for my passions? How can I develop new skills and use my talents to help other people?
Finally, it can be helpful to reach out to people you admire in different fields and “interview” them about their career experiences. Tell them about the patterns you identified and the work you’d like to pursue as a result of this exercise—and see what career advice they might have for you!
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Your purpose is your personal mission statement; it’s how you plan to make your mark in this world.
It will drive your decisions, strengthen your relationships, and steer you towards greater happiness and success.
It takes time to find it—so be patient, and continue soul-searching.
Keep learning, sharing, reading, and exploring—and I promise, your purpose will reveal itself!