Many of this month’s posts focus on two things that have been increasingly important in my own life, and the lives of many other women: purpose and passion.
When it comes to their careers, millennials (believe it or not, I technically am one) are driven more by purpose than their bottom line. Half value a career aligned with their values and are willing to take a pay cut for it—94% want to use their skills to benefit a cause.
But how do you figure out your purpose? Or the often even more heavily weighted term, your passion? There is no one size fits all way of doing so. However, here are some methods I have used over the past 10-15 years that have helped me define and redefine both terms as they apply to my life, both personally and professionally:
- Pay close attention to what you like to do outside of work. Maybe it’s writing; maybe it’s photography; maybe it’s gardening. For me, it was helping people edit their college admissions essays. And now, almost ten years later, I run a very successful company that helps applicants do just that (and much much more). Had I not paid close attention to what I enjoyed doing outside of my 9-5, I might not be where I am today.
- Pay close attention to what you gravitate toward reading about, the accounts you follow on social, and who (even though you might not admit it to anyone) has your dream job. Take note: these are people, places, things, issues that you care about. Not surprisingly, I can’t get enough of all things education, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. What you care about is a good place to start in terms of finding your purpose and passion.
- Pay close attention to where your mind goes when it wanders. Mine always envisioned me following in the footsteps of just about everyone else in my family despite my family telling me to “have a stable job with good health insurance.” This vision was running my own business…and here I am.
Everyone’s path is different, and many people won’t realize each fully because it takes time and energy, which at certain stages of life is quite the luxury. Even so, there’s a lot to be learned on the journey. Moreover, as life goes on, these things can change. Our priorities change, we change. In my life, both are paths, and I am still on them. I always will be. I tweak things, change things up as my life goes through ups and downs and twists and turns, but I do believe elements of both my purpose and passion are at the core of everything that I do. A few of these elements include:
- Acting with integrity
- Using my knowledge and expertise for good
- Supporting others without expecting anything in return
As I lead how I define a purposeful life, I aim to keep these values in mind. I do so in my work at BMC, as I guide students and families through the college and graduate school admissions process, and they are imbued in everything I do with Strategy Girl, which is my passion and a “passion project” I decide to “go for” and could not be happier that I did.
In line with April being a month full of all things purpose and passion, it’s only fitting that we are running our first giveaway, which will include a career planning session and some Passion Planners! Make sure you are following us on Instagram as that is where you will be able to enter.
Lastly, I don’t want to sign off before I touch on Earth Day, on April 22. If there is one thing I think that we can all agree on, it’s that we need to be purposeful about how we treat our planet. We only get one. So, I leave you with this reminder from earthday.org: Go green with by making small changes that add up to making a big difference. Commit to earth-friendly acts, make more sustainable choices, reduce your carbon footprint, conserve energy and resources, collaborate on environmental projects in your community, vote for leaders committed to protecting the environment!
Like in everything else in life, when we come together, the impact can be monumental.
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