The following is a post that I contributed to the Pink Magazine blog about how setbacks in this economy may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
For many, there comes a point in our life when we stop in our tracks and ask ourselves, “What is the meaning of the work we’re doing?” It might be because we’re feeling unchallenged, unfulfilled or unmotivated. Or it might be because external events—like losing a job—force us to rethink our options. Rather than look at such a circumstance as a challenge, you can see it as a golden opportunity to reintroduce joy and creativity into your professional life.
Years ago, I became fascinated by the idea that, for each and every one of us, there is a “career we were born for.” Only a small percentage of us manage to find it, and oftentimes our discovery only comes after some period of disappointment or disenchantment. I experienced this personally when I became increasingly dissatisfied with my 9-to-5 life as leader of an advertising agency. Looking around me, I saw dissatisfaction as an epidemic, and it prompted me to write the book, Professional Destiny.
During my research, I questioned people to see if I could find common traits among those who displayed a real passion for their work. I discovered that the most highly motivated and fulfilled really did have something in common—their profession allowed them to make full use of their natural gifts. For these people, work isn’t about money or title—it’s about satisfaction, empowerment, feeling energetic about what they do, making an impact, fully exercising a talent and inspiring others.
As I wrote in Professional Destiny: “A job is something we do to earn a living. Oftentimes it is too small for our spirit. Our life’s work is a mighty undertaking that challenges us, taps into our creative energy and reawakens our spirit. It is our work with a capital W. Once we start on the path, the urgency of this work is bigger than us. Our passion and creativity are ignited.”
Given the current economy, this may be the perfect time to assess the gifts you were born with and rethink your goals. You may well see an opportunity to pursue a different career, one that will make you feel energized and alive. A time of uncertainty can become our time of greatest opportunity. This is when new doors and new possibilities are open, and we have that added incentive to venture out and try something new. You can emerge from this on a path headed for true happiness and satisfaction for the rest of your professional life. Seize the moment and get clear on what you really want to do—you’ll likely look back at it as one of the most satisfying decisions you’ve ever made.
2 Comments September 25, 2009