Whether you’re new to the working world or you’ve been on the same career path your entire life, you may have wondered before if what you’re doing is really making a difference. Bringing home a hefty paycheck is nice, but is it the only thing you should be working for?
Most people — especially Millennials — want a job that feels meaningful. One study found that 90% of Millennials said it was either “somewhat important” or “very important” that the work they do has a positive impact on the world.
Can you say that your job has a positive impact?
Now that we’re living in a post-pandemic world, there is no better time to make a career change. Maybe you were let go of your previous job. Or, maybe you’re just looking for something different. Whatever the case, it’s important to know how to find a purpose-driven career. What you do for a living can (and should) line up with the things that matter to you.
With that in mind, let’s dive deeper into what a purpose-driven career is, and what you can do to find yours.
What Is a Purpose-Driven Career?
A purpose-driven career is about more than just figuring out something that sounds “fun” to do. For your career to match up with your values, you first have to consider what your purpose actually is. That process is different for everyone. But, there are strategies you can use to make it easier, including:
- Surrounding yourself with positive people
- Listening to feedback from others about your passions
- Starting conversations with new people
- Discovering what you truly love to do
Your passions are part of what makes you unique. That’s a common question during job interviews when an employer wants to know what will make you stand out and grow within a business. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, your unique traits tend to get muddled. You’ll be unmotivated, unproductive, and it can be hard to have a sense of loyalty.
When you’re truly passionate about something, being able to do it all day can give you a greater sense of purpose. You can go from just “earning a paycheck” to doing something that uses your skills, personality, and experiences. A purpose-driven career should be something you would still love to do, even if you weren’t getting paid for it.
If it sounds too good to be true, it doesn’t have to be. You can find the kind of job that makes you light up and get excited to go to work each day when you know how to find a career with purpose.
Pursuing Your Passions in Your Career
Sometimes, it can feel next to impossible to find a job that will help you cover your bills. So, how much harder is it to find a job that actually helps you pursue your passions?
It’s easier than you might think if you know what you’re doing.
If you want to find a career that aligns with your beliefs, you first have to stand firm in those beliefs. What are your values? What are you willing to “bend” on and where are you going to stand firm? Some examples of core values in a workplace environment include:
- Work-life balance
- Opportunity for advancement
Looking for jobs that align with these values is a great place to start. There are plenty of online platforms that make it easier to research companies and learn which ones match up with your values. Once you find a company (or several) that stand out to you, you can increase your chances of getting hired by standing out to them. Tailor your cover letters and resume to match each company you apply to. Be unafraid to be authentic in the way you express your strengths, passions, and experience. Be bold with how you describe yourself, and you’re more likely to stand out from your competition.
Start Your Own Business
Maybe your purpose isn’t going to be found by working for someone else. If that’s the case, you might consider being one of the over 30 million small business owners in the U.S. Owning your own business is a perfect way to ensure your career is lining up with your values. You’re in complete control of everything. While it’s a lot of work and can be quite stressful, you can also find a lot of meaning in what you do.
When you manage your own business, you’re forced to improve yourself in your career through things like:
- Establishing a daily routine
- Improving your skills
- Managing time effectively
- Setting goals
But, in addition to those improvements, you can create a business culture that means something to you. Whether you create a product or offer a service, it will become nearly impossible to be stagnant or feel like you’re not doing something meaningful. If a career path that involves working for another business doesn’t feel right for you, it might be time to consider starting your own.
Whatever you decide when it comes to making a career change, you don’t have to give up your goals, passions, or purpose. There’s never been a better time to make a switch, so start thinking about the things you truly value, and the types of jobs that will help you find fulfillment.
Guest Author Bio
Jori Hamilton is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest who covers social justice issues, healthcare, and politics. You can follow her work on twitter @HamiltonJori, and through her portfolio at Writer Jori Hamilton.