Your Life Purpose…So Much Bigger than a Job Title

We’ve been talking about finding your life’s purpose for the past three weeks.

Remember, purpose is what you are uniquely designed to do.

Purpose extends far beyond the boundaries of a job title or company. If I decide my purpose is to be a CEO at a Fortune 500 company, then everything in my life becomes about getting that position. It is, after all, my life’s purpose!

So what happens once I get there? Is my purpose done, or is my purpose to make sure I keep that job until the next CEO position comes along? After all, if CEO is my purpose, I won’t be fulfilled if I take any other position.

What if I achieve the position of CEO, but I’m not fulfilled because it’s the wrong culture for me? Does this mean my purpose was “wrong,” or that I was “wrong” for having that life’s purpose?

What if I never get that job, or become a CEO of a smaller company—did I fail?

If, on the other hand, my life’s purpose is “To lead a cohesive team of high-achieving employees using skills in coaching, mentoring, goal-setting, and achievement recognition,” this is something I can do over and over again throughout my career.

My personal mission statement is to “Coach, teach, influence, and motivate high-achievers during transitional periods in their careers.”

My mission statement doesn’t say:

  • What my job title is
  • Whether I’m self-employed or work for someone else
  • Exactly how I do it

Here’s what else I can tell you about my mission statement in retrospect: The essence of it was always there. From my first job out of college, I was coaching, teaching, influencing, and motivating others as a school music teacher.

At age 32, I added the “transitional periods in their careers” part when I began working in college career services. I discovered a love for career development.

At age 40, I added the “high achievers” part when I began working at a highly select university. I soon realized my calling in life was to take those for whom the sky is the limit…and help them reach their personal sky.

So here’s my challenge to you: Create your mission statement…your statement of purpose. Review the journal prompts from the past few weeks to look for themes.

If you’re in your 40’s or 50’s, your mission statement should be fairly granular. You’ve lived enough to get really specific. If you’re younger, just get as detailed as you can, and revise your mission periodically.

Allow this statement of purpose to guide you in your career path. Think of it as a checklist; if a possible career move doesn’t check of all the boxes, pass it by.

In my personal example, a position that doesn’t allow me to work with high-achievers doesn’t fit. A position that doesn’t allow me to coach, teach, influence, and motivate others doesn’t fit. A position that isn’t working with careers doesn’t fit.

Happy purpose-finding!

We’ve been talking about finding your life’s purpose for the past three weeks.

Remember, purpose is what you are uniquely designed to do.

Purpose extends far beyond the boundaries of a job title or company. If I decide my purpose is to be a CEO at a Fortune 500 company, then everything in my life becomes about getting that position. It is, after all, my life’s purpose!

So what happens once I get there? Is my purpose done, or is my purpose to make sure I keep that job until the next CEO position comes along? After all, if CEO is my purpose, I won’t be fulfilled if I take any other position.

What if I achieve the position of CEO, but I’m not fulfilled because it’s the wrong culture for me? Does this mean my purpose was “wrong,” or that I was “wrong” for having that life’s purpose?

What if I never get that job, or become a CEO of a smaller company—did I fail?

If, on the other hand, my life’s purpose is “To lead a cohesive team of high-achieving employees using skills in coaching, mentoring, goal-setting, and achievement recognition,” this is something I can do over and over again throughout my career.

My personal mission statement is to “Coach, teach, influence, and motivate high-achievers during transitional periods in their careers.”

My mission statement doesn’t say:

  • What my job title is
  • Whether I’m self-employed or work for someone else
  • Exactly how I do it

Here’s what else I can tell you about my mission statement in retrospect: The essence of it was always there. From my first job out of college, I was coaching, teaching, influencing, and motivating others as a school music teacher.

At age 32, I added the “transitional periods in their careers” part when I began working in college career services. I discovered a love for career development.

At age 40, I added the “high achievers” part when I began working at a highly select university. I soon realized my calling in life was to take those for whom the sky is the limit…and help them reach their personal sky.

So here’s my challenge to you: Create your mission statement…your statement of purpose. Review the journal prompts from the past few weeks to look for themes.

If you’re in your 40’s or 50’s, your mission statement should be fairly granular. You’ve lived enough to get really specific. If you’re younger, just get as detailed as you can, and revise your mission periodically.

Allow this statement of purpose to guide you in your career path. Think of it as a checklist; if a possible career move doesn’t check of all the boxes, pass it by.

In my personal example, a position that doesn’t allow me to work with high-achievers doesn’t fit. A position that doesn’t allow me to coach, teach, influence, and motivate others doesn’t fit. A position that isn’t working with careers doesn’t fit.

Happy purpose-finding!

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