How should we define our purpose? The dictionary defines purpose as, “the reason why something is done or used: the aim or intention of something: the feeling of being determined to do or achieve something: the aim or goal of a person: what a person is trying to do, become, etc.” Some say that purpose is what we are called to do or what we are placed on this earth to achieve. In the world of professional development, purpose is finding a way to do what you enjoy doing and do successfully. Your purpose may also be your spiritual gift, revealed to you by God. However, purpose is defined, it seems that everyone is either searching for it for trying to help someone find it.
How do we use purpose? Having a sense of purpose is part of feeling fulfilled. It is difficult to go about your day when you are feeling unfulfilled. So we use purpose to try to find the right position, job, or career. But sometimes it is actually those skills that you are using outside of your job that really demonstrate your purpose. When I was working in my previous positions, I always assisted my co-workers, peers and family members with professional development advice. I was good at it, I enjoyed it and it came naturally to me. For that reason, I decided to create a structure to allow me to continue to assist people in a more formalized manner. Do I think that my purpose in life is to be a career coach? Not necessarily. I think part of my purpose is to help people to see the best in themselves and to find happiness. At the moment that manifests itself in career coaching. I believe that we all have multiple sides to our “purpose”.
How do we find purpose? If you are trying to figure out your next career move, want to find what you do well and enjoy doing, try speaking with a career coach. My own career coach describes herself as an “external brain”, someone to help me think things through. If you are trying to find your gift, read your bible, because reading is how we hear. Finally, if you are trying to figure out what you are called to do, think about what you are actually doing. Do not let other people define your “purpose” because your calling may be something that others can’t see. You may be an encourager to your friends, a mother to your children, or a caregiver to your family. At this time, that is your purpose. That is the side of purpose that is being used right now. Your multifaceted purpose will reveal itself in other ways as needed. Find your purpose by: (1) defining it for yourself, (2) thinking about how you will use it, (3) putting the work in to collaboration or reflection.