It’s likely you come across people who say they’ve known exactly what they wanted to do since they were little. But this is somewhat of a rarity. In contrast, many of us travel through our careers wondering whether the path we’ve chosen is our ‘true calling’; especially in a world with almost unlimited options.
If this sounds like you, here are some ways to reflect and find the work you’re meant to do.
Understanding How To Find Your Calling
In his book, Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work, respected broadcaster and StoryCorps founder, Dave Isay lays out a plan for finding the work you’re meant to do. He suggests it’s a mix of three key things:
- Work that aligns with your natural skills
- Work that makes you feel appreciated
- Work that improves other people’s lives (no matter how big or small)
Take a moment to consider how your current role sits against these three categories. Does it hit all three?
If not, here are some tips to find a role that does.
Reflect On Your Past Roles
First, consider the roles you’ve had in your career. In which areas did you really excel and enjoy? This helps you find your natural skillset – it might be in quickly adapting to shifting coding parameters, or boosting team morale when project deadlines seem insurmountable.
At the same time, think about whether there are any consistent themes in your work and personal life. Do people often come to you for support in certain areas? Do you gravitate towards similar tasks, even if it’s just for fun? It may be as simple as setting up spreadsheets for the household budget, or as in depth as an after-hours development project for a new app.
Reflect On Your Current Role
This relates to the appreciation category. It’s not necessarily about the appreciation you get from your boss (although that helps!). It’s more about whether you feel the work you’re doing matters.
One way to determine this is to consider the pros and cons of your current role. What parts do you enjoy so much it’s almost like you’re not even working? What would you change – more challenge, independence, or new learning opportunities? If you had these things, would you feel like your work is worthy?
Consider Both Reflections Side By Side
It’s now time to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Are there any common denominators between the work you’ve enjoyed in the past, with what people seek your advice about? Do your outside passions align with your current role? Can you pick out any running themes between any of them? For instance, you seem to be the go-to person both at home and work for quick-fixes.
Identifying patterns will then help you investigate jobs that match. This part can be tricky on your own. Often a recruitment consultant (like us here at Finite) can help. We’re well versed in helping our candidates navigate a career shift, with a host of resources to assist in you in finding a role that fits your calling.