finding a meaningful career

Professional Destiny: Learn from the Detours, but Keep the Destination in Sight

Does your life lack meaning or feel devoid of excitement? After a long day, are you left wondering, “Is this all there is?” 

Perhaps you’re confused about using your passions to make a profound impact, or seeing yourself as someone of value who deserves more. Or, it’s possible you’re feeling pressured to step foot on a new path, but overwhelmed with fear of judgment.

In Western society, an ever-so-prevalent introductory question is, “What do you do for a living?” If you’re not exactly thrilled with what you do every day, this question can cause an uncomfortable pause rather than an elated response.

Detours to our destiny may appear as distractions, even weaknesses, on the path to who we are “supposed to be.” This thinking, shaped by classism, gender roles, societal standards, and a “win-at-all-costs” culture, that plagues schools, sports, and society at large, leave increasingly fewer individuals feeling up to personal or professional par.

With social media spotlighting instant gratification and success, it’s easy to become distracted and develop employment envy. With so much focus on counting followers, many individuals fail to tune into their own platforms of progress.

It’s not true that you must choose between a family or a career. If you do feel torn between the two options, consider the possibility of future resentment over a reality that “could have been.” Instead, go for an inheritance that inspires, rather than rehearse the line, “I had a dream once, too, you know.”

Whether you’re dwelling on past failures, worrying about what the future holds, or avoiding potential alternatives for change, below are a few decision-making strategies to create a life more aligned with the one you’ve always imagined.

Liberate yourself from feeling stuck. Life is rarely linear, and a uniform track is often unattainable.

Survive the struggle of getting started — and show up. It takes grit, gratitude, and a growth mindset to change the course of your life. Shred your ego and outdated excuses and engineer your empowerment.

Don’t stand in discomfort. Stop being a bystander in your own life. Diminish your disbelief and hold onto hope. Believe in yourself and see the beauty in what you can become.

Lean into learning new things for a passionate and productive life. Not learning a new skill minimizes your professional potential. Acquiring knowledge has the power to ignite your inner world, elevate what is essential to you, and deepen your innate talents.

Keep the promises you make to yourself. Name your objective, measure your outcomes in increments, and celebrate the small wins along the way. 

Find that something that sets you apart. Pay attention to your instinctive abilities and own what makes you different. Let your intuitions and interests guide you forward. When you align your actions to your beliefs, monumental things happen.

Modify your ruminating mindset. Push through the shyness and self-doubt, and manage the negative notions. Be overly compassionate — not overly critical — with yourself. Overthinking mistakes or rejection can mean missed opportunities.

Happiness is not a hand-me-down. Don’t follow a path others have paved. Make sure your idea of success is your own and that your heart aligns with your head. Acknowledge and appreciate your authentic self on your new adventure.

Satisfaction and success take collective commitment. Consciously pledge to cultivate your career. Build connections and optimize your options by engaging with experienced employees and experts of your industry.

Surround yourself with support from people whose proactive philosophies push you forward. Gather a group that encourages and helps to cheer you on.

Ask your adversaries for advice, even if it’s awkward. Even antagonists can offer worthwhile advice. By pinpointing our inadequacies and working to improve, we become more complete human beings who continue to evolve.

Redesign your rigidity. Navigate the newness and reframe your thinking. Avoid anxiety, aggression, apathy, and agonizing over where you want to be and take accountability for your goals.

Identify the importance of higher education and investing in yourself. Think: What doors will open if I put in the effort? What areas will I gain access to if I devote my energy? Think of skill-building as a form of self-care — solidifying your strengths to serve the greater good.

Don’t let being stuck be your stopping point. Have the patience to progress gradually. Recover from setbacks, rebound, and stay resilient.

Defend your dream. Your destiny is not etched in stone, but created in the small decisions you make every day. Support your spirit and sustain the life you want to see for yourself.

Never lose childlike curiosity and never stop studying. Education doesn’t only equate to frequenting classrooms; it represents the freedom in finding yourself. Learn lessons outside of the curriculum; step outside your comfort zone to strengthen your self-esteem; and explore opportunities outside of your usual settings.

Embrace uncertainty and embody how you want to make a change in the world. It takes bold and brave individuals to take such steps, but there are countless rewards waiting for you.

At some point in your future, you won’t want to look back on life and think, “If only…” It is never too late to place bets on the person you can become. Anyone, at any point, can go from being fragile to focused, from silent to seen, and from feeling doomed to making a difference. One day, the sun is bound to set on all of us, and the ability to walk tall in the shadow of your human spirit is a noble accomplishment.

Life’s narrative can change with several edits and rewrites to your story along the way.

How will you write your history? 

If you’re searching for personal significance or a profession that provides more meaning, find out how Goodwin can help explore your options and expand your opportunities — contact us today