Careers

The re-alignment you need for a fulfilling life

BDPurpose

Having a purpose or meaning in their careers is the reason employees are happy and contended to work in environments that are less than ideal. FILE PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

Having a purpose or meaning in your career makes every toil worthwhile. It is the reason employees are happy and contended to work in environments that are less than ideal because they truly care about what they do.

Today's workplaces however are full of employees stuck in jobs they care little about. Their sole motivation for showing up day after day is the paycheck at the end of the month.

How do you know your purpose and how can you tap it for a fulfilling career?

Ann Wamonje, an HR practitioner shares that purpose is your reason for being. It answers the question 'why am I in this life?' Purpose supersedes your weekly or monthly pay cheque; it builds beyond daily administration jobs.

“You will be able to know your purpose in your career if you can understand how meaningful or impactful it is to other people,” she says.

However, she adds, it is important to note that your purpose in life is sometimes not aligned with your career, and that is okay.

How important is purpose in career development?

Gabriel Nyamu, a purpose coach shares that as a principle, for any product of design to achieve its highest form, it has to be aligned to all the initial conditions, intent, and force that created it.

Similarly, in career development, purpose provides direction and helps one make appropriate decisions in life.

Adding that a purpose-led career avoids growth stagnation since one can focus on a specific direction of impact, Gabriel shares, that once you do not understand your purpose you will not only waste resources but not be fulfilled.

“When you are misplaced or not aligned to your life purpose, you will never achieve the ultimate joy and fulfilment within you since you will always be indebted to pay the redemptive purpose you owe creation even if it’s at the old age or on the death bed.”

Read: How you can find true hapiness in life, work

Purpose also improves employability and accelerates growth and impact. This not only boosts your confidence and courage to leverage every opportunity but also gives you a promotability potential and leadership visibility.

“The fact that you are pursuing something that you find a higher meaning to wake up for is enough recipe to improve your holistic wellbeing,” he observes.

AnnWamonje

Ann Wamonje, a HR practitioner and consultant in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | POOL

Furthermore, purpose is a lifetime assignment that has no expiry date and therefore no retirement.

“You can retire from a job but not from purpose since your assignment ends when you die. If your purpose is to eradicate poverty or financially empower others, you can serve this purpose both in employment and also post-retirement age.”

So what are the inhibiting factors to a purposeful career?

Ms Ann says that fear of failing, the unknown or what will people say can hold one back from pursuing their life’s purpose. This has led some people to stagnate in life and develop the victim mindset.

“The desire for perfection in that when you are waiting for everything to fall into place or to be perfect for you to start pursuing that which you believe in. You might wait your entire life or procrastinate a lot if you are not careful,” she says.

Additionally, a lack of a clear vision and discipline of what you want to achieve can be a stumbling block, cautions Ms Ann, saying that though the journey might be rocky, the lack of vision can make one end up going around in circles.

“Discipline is the fuel that keeps you moving.”

On the other hand, Gabriel says that the lack of personal reflective retreats where you reflect and refine your life’s purpose regularly makes it difficult to track achievements.

“You are as good as the people you often associate with since they influence your decisions and energy. If you spend more time with people who are not pursuing any transcending cause, your focus will also be affected.”

Moreover, not having an accountability and evaluation system can make you slack or derail you in moving in the right direction and making the necessary adjustments in attaining your purpose.

Ms Ann shares that to overcome the blocks, one needs to be clear on what one wants and the direction one wants to go.

“Don't go about asking everyone's opinion because some, if not most, will discourage you and give you all the reasons why it won't work. Talk to a few trusted friends about your vision and then just do it. Just do it!” she adds.

Also read: Lifetime dreamer's success philosophy

However, it is important to note that if you are working in a toxic environment quitting is not an option and you can still realise your purpose.

“The force of purpose is so strong that even when we drift away from it, the dots will always connect at the end since life by itself is self-adjusting and self-refining if you focus on lessons learned,” Gabriel explains.

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