Are you drawn to a life-changing career move but not sure exactly what it is?
Do you want to make a change in how you make a living?
Are you looking to answer the question, “What am I meant to do with my life?”
If you answered yes, you are not alone. In a recent Gallup Poll, 70% of people have disengaged from their work. This is the result of not using their true gifts.
Last week in Part One of this two-part series, “How to Identify Your Purpose and Ideal Career”, I shared the foundation to uncover your true calling. If you didn’t read about creating your champion mindset, you can find it on the blog.
Once you create your champion mindset, you are ready to uncover your purpose and ideal work.
When I work with my clients to answer the age-old question, “What am I meant to do with my life,” it’s like interpreting tea leaves.
I have them begin by writing a bullet-point biography. As I go through it, I discern patterns and themes that prompt me to ask questions that highlight their purpose and ideal career.
While uncovering your ideal work requires some excavation, telling the truth about who you are and what you want will get the ball rolling.
Let me show you how to do it for yourself.
The past holds many clues to what you are meant to be doing in the future. So your first step is to write your Bulleted Bio.
You write your history in bullet format so you can easily look through it for themes. List significant accomplishments from as far back as you can remember and also job roles you held throughout your life. Include hobbies, awards, sports and experiences that formed you.
Approach #1 Identify the Themes. Look for the golden threads or themes that run throughout your history. There may be many so look for an interest that has followed throughout.
Maybe it’s an entrepreneurial spirit, a certain kind of job (sales, artist, sports), or a tendency towards certain roles, perhaps as a leader, administrator, strategist, teacher/trainer. The themes can show up as preferences, roles, environment, interests, or callings.
Make sure you write all of your history down. Too often people dismiss things as insignificant that could be good indicators of what they are meant to do in the future.
You may be used to looking only at what job or what industry you were in as indicators for the future.
A better way to approach finding your true calling is to look at who you were being in those roles you enjoyed. Were you the writer, the speaker, the strategist, the key leader, promoter, guide or teacher?
Who did you get to be in the past that you liked? What roles were your favorite?
Circle them. These are significant pieces to your puzzle.
Approach #2 What dreams did you have that got halted?
Was there a dream you had that was pushed aside? While you may not return to where you left off, that halted dream does hold value and may have clues.
Last week I talked about the former college football champion who 25-years-later seeks his dream career. He is a great example of a dream that was halted. He was on his way to the NFL, but it didn’t work out. Sports are not something he’ll go back to in the same way, but it is something that needs to be included to honor his purpose and passion and so he can feel happy about life again.
Approach #3 What do others see you doing?
Write down what people have always said you “should” be. If you are not sure what people think you should be, sit down with a few of your trusted friends and ask what they see in you. The answers can hold valuable ideas. Many of my clients have uncovered their purpose from talking to another who revealed what my clients couldn’t or were too scared to see. Ask, listen and try it on.
Approach #4 Become Your Own Self-Expert
The biggest shift in the process to uncover your purpose and ideal career is to step up your personal development. Become your own self-expert.
Don’t ask what your next career “should be,” ask what excites and energizes you.
What awesome idea or desire lurks within, waiting for you to acknowledge it? What bold and scary career move have you been trying to bury beneath a pile of logical, boring ones?
What would you love to do if nobody paid you for it?
If you were free from all things that limit you and hold you back, what direction would you go?
How do you know you’ve found it? The first criterion is that your purpose is something you could do immediately. You don’t’ need to be retrained because it’s been a part of you all along. Yes, you may need another certification for the job, but your natural gifts are already there.
The second is you know it’s your purpose because it impacts others.
Third, it just feels good. Your body may relax or get excited just thinking about it. No matter what, it feels ‘lighter,’ easier, like you’re home.
If finding your life purpose and ideal work remains a mystery, I have empathy. I know first-hand how depressing it can be to be disconnected from your True North. Be aware of these two blocks that may be holding you back.
First, you are too scared to identify it even if you know the answer, because it means change and dealing with uncertainty. In this case, being confused is working for you in an odd sort of way. One way to circumvent this is to finish the sentence, “If I wasn’t confused (or I guessed) at what I am called to, it is…”
Second, there is a possibility that you are motivated by a stronger commitment to something besides identifying your life’s work. You may be more committed to being stable, certain, not making a mistake, preventing the judgment of others, or living to the standards and beliefs of someone else, or “not screwing up my family,” a quote from a recent client.
The problem with non-supporting commitments, as they are sometimes called, is that they will continue to derail you when left unrecognized.
Just being aware of the non-supporting commitment can help you see more clearly. Finish the statement, “If I weren’t committed to this non-supporting commitment, I would…”
Spend some time with these approaches. If you still are challenged to interpret your tea leaves, consider getting the support of someone who can help you.
If you’ve thought about working with me as your coach to support you in identifying work that matters to you, you are in luck. I am putting together a new Coaching Package designed just for you.
If you are interested and want to get on the wait list,write [email protected]. You’ll be among the first to get the details!
Your change agent,