Is this myth holding you back from career fulfillment?

career advice career change career development career direction career paths careers Jan 27, 2022

Have you followed your calling, only to find that years later, it’s not calling out to you as loudly as it used to? Are you feeling unfulfilled and wondering what happened? Is it not really your calling? Are you sabotaging yourself? Clients often come to me with this line of questioning running in the background as they consider leaving a field they’ve been in for a long time, and my answer to all of these questions is probably not. More than likely, our cultural myth that there’s one industry or function that’s our calling is to blame for the confusion.

Now don’t get me wrong! I believe deeply in calling, or purpose — whichever term you prefer. My point here is that calling runs deeper than our choice of industry or job function, and if we open ourselves up to that idea, we can find the information that will guide us to fulfillment.

Why an Industry or Function Isn’t a Calling

Industries and functions have lives of their own. They shift and change over time along with our dominant culture and our economies. Look at some of the major industries in our country: Healthcare is not what it was a few decades ago. The educational system has changed with every generation. If you chose a particular industry 20 or 30 years ago, its values today might be quite different from yours. You and your industry may simply have grown apart!

My Story

I used to believe that my purpose was to work in the human services field. I spent many years in that space, and the low pay and difficult nature of direct service began to take a toll on me. But I couldn’t let go of the idea that this industry was where I was supposed to be. So, I spent some time in other roles in the same industry. I worked in fundraising and in compliance, and while those functions are important and valuable, they are simply not a good fit for me, and I felt even less fulfilled.

Fast forward to today. In the intervening years, I dug down a layer deeper and realized that my calling — my purpose — is to hold space for people to transform. That work transcends any industry or career field. That is what I did back when I did direct care work in the human services field, and it’s what I do in my business today. That knowledge is now my guiding light when I make any decision in my business and career.

In light of knowing that what I’m here to do is hold space for transformation, it’s clear that I didn’t really make a career change at all — I merely continued doing the work that is aligned with who I am at my core.

What to Ask Yourself

So, if you have been in a field that you were once passionate about, but you are no longer feeling lit up about it the way that you used to, forget for a moment about titles or industries and spend some time reflecting on what you find rewarding about your work. Here are some examples:

· If your field has always been education, perhaps your calling is teaching individuals or coaching teams.

· If you’ve spent your career in fashion, maybe you’re meant to bring innovative new creations into the world.

· If you’ve been in media, perhaps telling stories on behalf of others is your purpose.

Whatever you do, don’t get lost in a self-critical line of questioning. When we’re feeling disillusioned, it’s not a sign that there’s something wrong with us — it’s vital information and it serves as a clue that we need to make some type of change in ourselves or our environment. Drilling down to the core of what drives you can provide critical guidance at a confusing time.

For free career transition tips or to learn more about my career coaching and resume writing services, visit me at https://www.protagonist.solutions/

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