At the end of every year, I take time to reflect on the past year before I plan out a new one. This time around, I found myself reflecting on my time finding a meaningful career.
Earlier this year, I already had my podcast and website, but I wasn’t sure where I was going to go with it. It wasn’t until mid-year when I decided to start life coaching, and it was only recently when I decided where the direction of my business was going.
As I was going through all the lessons I learned about bringing my own purpose and passion to life, I thought of you.
If you’re at a point in your life where you’re trying to find a meaningful career path, these lessons will inspire you. So keep on readin’!
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE
LESSON #1: STOP INCLUDING WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS
I realized when I’m on my deathbed and my life flashes before my eyes, that I’m the only one that will see it. So I better make sure I like what I see! None of the people trying to influence my life are going to have to live with the decisions I make. Only I will.
After this deathbed realization, I reflected on all the times I made decisions in my life based on what other people thought I should do or what was expected. I NEVER felt fulfilled doing them in the long run.
I was unsure about a promotion I got offered in my past career. The kind of work was NOT aligned with who I was, and I felt it deep in my core. But my boss pushed for it, and in the end, I trusted her opinion over my intuition. I don’t think she was intentionally trying to sabotage me. However, I wished I listen to my instincts because I spent years in a role I was miserable in because of it.
All of this reflection led me to another realization.
I spent the majority of my life trying to chase what was easy or what was already standard in popular culture. I pursued comfort and ease, chasing the path of least resistance. While taking the easy way was easy (of course!), I didn’t learn these harsh lessons I needed to until I stopped taking that path.
You never learn when things go your way entirely or when they’re too easy. I really learned that in the next lesson.
LESSON #2 NOT EVERY JOB IS 100% AWESOME, AND THAT’S GOOD
There’s a life coach I follow who recently talked about an idea on her podcast all about the “adversity quotient.”
In her podcast, Brooke Castillo explains, as we raise our tolerance for the messy parts and the hard parts, the stronger we become. I couldn’t agree more.
I already mentioned how I was spending a lot of my life searching for the path of least resistance, and that was no different when it came to finding meaningful work.
While I was always an ambitious type, I was selfish in the sense that I wanted the answers on how to live a “happy life,” and I wanted them NOW… Like, without having to do any work for them.
I believed the idea that “if you find work you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Nowadays, I strongly disagree. Thinking like this was just like me trying to find the easiest path.
You don’t learn anything significant when you have no trials or tribulations. So, if you don’t have hard parts of your career path, then can you truly find fulfillment from it?
So, as I went on believing this idea, anytime something hard would come up in my business, and I didn’t enjoy it, I thought something was wrong with me. I’d say things like, “I guess this means I don’t love what I do! I guess I failed at finding a meaningful career path!“
Right when things became hard, I dismissed what I was doing because it wasn’t going smoothly. I thought because there was a part of the job I didn’t enjoy, that was signal from the universe that I shouldn’t do this.
Can you relate?
Do you believe the idea that if you’ve found a meaningful career path you love, it means that you should enjoy every minute of it?
If you have, you’ve probably felt let down just like I did.
This is why I’ve changed my stance on the idea that if you love what you’ll do, you never work a day in your life. It creates an unrealistic expectation of what work, and ultimately our lives, are like in the real world.
Even if you have a meaningful career path that’s perfectly aligned with you, some days are going to suck. Sometimes, it’ll feel like work. And you know what? THAT’S OK!
There’s nothing wrong with you if you’ve found a career path you love, but you have bad days, or there are parts of it you don’t like!
LESSON#3: I HAD TO THINK ABOUT MORE THAN MONEY
As someone who grew up in poverty, I’ve had a long and rocky relationship with money. I had a limiting belief that there was never enough of it, and that *I* would never have enough. I honestly thought only certain people in the world were well off and that I would never be one of them.
Needless to say, my relationship with money skewed my view of what finding a meaningful career path was. Sure, doing something that made me feel good was important, but what was ultimately more important to me was financial security. I let the salary be the deciding factor in choosing my job rather than how it aligned with my core values.
But just like how I thought about my deathbed in lesson #1, I asked myself what would be more important to the Monica at the end of my life. Would she wish I made more money? Or would she wish that I focused on fulfilling work and life?
This lesson came to life when the anniversary of my website rolled around…. aaaand I didn’t meet my revenue goals.
I was utterly let down and felt like a loser. I thought because I didn’t make an arbitrary number I pulled out of my head when I first started, that made me a failure.
I felt deflated. My motivation to keep going and filling my time off from my day job with working on my coaching disappeared. I mean, with money as my primary motivator, why should I? This was a time when I needed to reinvest everything back into my business. So if making money and having stability was my main motivator, it wouldn’t make sense for me to keep going.
That’s when an internal battle happened within me. I knew I wanted to keep going, but I needed to find a motivator that was stronger than money. That’s when I changed my mindset from finding a meaningful career path to being purpose-driven.
The vital part of this lesson?
I learned to have my purpose drive everything I do.
My purpose is helping other women find their purpose and passion and to help them bring it to life with an action plan. So I use that purpose in everything I do. That purpose is also the motivation I remind myself of when things don’t go perfectly, and when I start to question myself.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Which lesson with you take with you as you start your journey of finding a meaningful career path? I’d love to know below in the comments or send me a DM on Instagram (I’m @MonicaChats) and let me know there!
If you’re working on finding your purpose, fulfilling work, and passion, then make sure to download my free 5 Step Guide to Figure Out Your Passion and Find Fulfilling Work! This guide will walk you through the steps you need to take not only to figure out what it is you want but also your first step to getting there. Grab your copy below for that and other tips and inspiration from me that I only share with my email community!