When I first trained as a careers counsellor, we explored a range of tools which could be used to help identify a client's interests, values, personality traits and preferred skill sets, but I have come to realise that the best resource available to us all is our experience.
People too often ignore the emotive reactions we experience when we delve back through our career and life experiences. We fail to embrace the often strong, sometimes subtle messages being relayed to us because we believe our purpose and values that drive us are to be figured out on an intellectual level.
For those who fret and think they haven't had enough experience, don't despair about not being able to discern what feels right and ignites your mojo. Find ways to build experience in different tasks, interests, hobbies or side projects which can often evolve into passions. It can take many years for some people to know their true purpose in work or in life. There are many successful people who discovered their true purpose when they were much older.
What may be purposeful to one person will not necessarily have purpose with another. We really need to know our inner selves and also constantly reflect on our lives and how we live them.
For any business it's important that all stake holders including employees be involved in creating a mission statement outlining the WHY behind the business.
If we measure our success by the amount of product we sell, targets reached or profits generated, rather than looking at how that product has served the needs of our customers then we will not attain fulfilment of purpose. An example being a bed manufacturer. If the manufacturer was to work towards producing a better quality bed which could help people sleep better and alleviate back problems rather than focussing on keeping costs down and maximising profits, then their work becomes more purposeful for them and their workers.
Sometimes we need to stop and reflect on our lives, our careers, our relationships and on how we fill our days and why we do what we do.
An example of someone who has found purpose in what they do is evident when you read the transcript of the interview with Darryl, above,who was briefly spoken to and photographed whilst using the trains on a particular day a couple of years back.
Darryl doesn't state what he does to earn a living but whether he enjoys his work or not, he has found purpose in something outside of paid work. He is experiencing reward through reaching out and helping others, not a financial reward but something else much greater.
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