Do you long to find meaning in your career?
My journey to where I am right now took way more bumps and turns than it needed to. I was on a relentless search for what I wanted to do with my life.
Today so many of us want to find that purpose and passion in what we do. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that per-se. A healthy balance of passion and discipline can result in a much better world.
But have you ever found yourself in a place like I was? Confused about where you fit in? Feeling meaningless or lost? Looking for something more in what you’re doing?
This place can get us stuck and frozen - not doing anything. But there is a big way to get un-stuck if this is where you find yourself.
One of the biggest reasons I was stuck in this place was because I was completely unaware of my strengths and how they were playing out in my search for a career and a calling. In fact, the very things I spent so much time pursuing involved a lot of my weaknesses!
I was looking in all the wrong places and so of course I kept coming up feeling lost and meaningless. I could push through and force myself down these paths I was on, but I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life feeling this way!
That’s what I want to help you with today. You don’t have to spend your time feeling meaningless or lost.
You can find meaning, purpose and passion in your life and career starting today.
Discover Your Character Strengths
I recently came across a powerful strengths finder test. You can find that test here: Via Character Strengths Survey
Over six million people have taken this test. Not only do they show you your top character strengths, but they also tell you a little about them and how you can employ them.
I took this test for the first time recently and it surprised me how much my top strengths relate to exactly what I am doing now!
My top 3 strengths were: creativity, perspective and love of learning. These things align so well with where I ended up. I wish I would have known how to make the most of them earlier.
So I’m going to share how you can use these to find meaning and purpose in your career and your life.
First, take the test! Consider not only your top 3-5 strengths, but also the ones that come in ranking lowest.
One of my lowest ranking character strengths was prudence-meaning avoiding risks. I saw this play out in my love of experimenting with new things and trying to make risks work. The path I was on before was relatively risk free and I found it hard to stay motivated and disciplined there!
Once you’ve taken the test and explored your top and lowest strengths, you can then dive into how to employ these strengths in your career and your life.
Novelty is Not Passion
Finding passion in your career does not necessarily mean a major career change.
So often in today’s culture, we jump from one thing to the next and mistake the novelty for passion. New things are exciting! It’s easy to get fired up and passionate about something new.
But when we rely on this false passion, it becomes impossible to find lasting meaning in our lives.
It is important to find that meaning and that passion in the right places and to cultivate it from within ourselves. We cannot rely on circumstantial passion to bring us meaning in our career.
Learning to employ your character strengths either within your career or within your life will help you to find meaning and purpose.
Sometimes this does require a career adjustment. For myself, it meant quitting an almost completed Master’s program and taking a major risk to move towards a creative and more strength-oriented career.
I stepped away from the “prudent” or low-risk career path I was trudging along and finally found the understanding and courage to move towards a path that brought meaning and purpose to my life.
Consider whether your desire for change is resulting from the desire for novelty masquerading as passion or from a true misalignment of your strengths with your career.
Using Your Strengths Within Your Career
One of my top strengths is love of learning. When I saw this on my top 3, it made perfect sense, but I had never thought about it that way!
My blog and online businesses had been going well and growing, but the passion I originally felt towards them was dying out.
Was this time for another change? Had I once again been chasing the wrong thing?
No! I had stopped using my strengths where I was and therefore found myself feeling meaningless.
So instead of my natural tendency to jump into something else, I decided to stay and try and incorporate more of my strengths - my love of learning in particular.
I started doing more research, more reading and more listening to podcasts and within days (days!!) I felt that passion renewed. I was eager to do more where I was and way more excited to be doing the work I was when I began to incorporate this strength.
How can you incorporate your top strengths into your current job? Give it a try and see whether or not you experience renewed passion.
Finding your strengths and learning to employ them will change the way you approach your life. You will find more meaning, passion and purpose both in your career and in your life.