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Lacking Direction? Tips to find a Purposeful Career! by Maria Vitoratos

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Have you ever heard the saying, 'Find your passion, and it won't feel like a day's work'? Do you believe it to be true? In my experience, it is a half-truth. Let me explain.....My experiences as a Career Coach over the last 15 years have shown me that even if you found your passion, you'd still have much inner unwrapping to do before your job felt like something other than work. Motivational phrases like the one I started this blog post with may be the culprit to many people expecting passion to be a given and eventually giving up on finding purposeful work and designing an empowering career development plan because of the romanticised concept of career purpose and the underestimated complexities of finding one's passion in work. In addition, and unfortunately, the premise of finding one's passion further assumes that one's career, to be fulfilling, must define one's purpose of life. However, as I continue to work with the youth and career transitioners, it is evident that the lack of career guidance and the unprecedented labour market further challenge an individual to find an alignment between one's career and passion. The concept often becomes romanticised or promoted as unrealistic, challenging, and unfulfilling. This blog post will discuss what I learned by interviewing three professionals working in different industries who shared their career insights with me about how they found purposeful work inspired by their passions. The blog's aim is not to dissuade you from finding your career purpose or romanticise the concept but rather to normalise the challenges of finding your purpose without expecting a miracle or a divine intervention.

The topic of today's blog reminded me of three motivating professionals that I interviewed several years ago. Although their career pathways differ, they share a commonality: recognising the importance of education, passion, and adapting to changes. In addition, each of my guests highlighted examples demonstrating that their career objectives gained clarity as their lived experiences, education, and deep connections to the work they chose to do aligned. For example, Moustafa Hamwi, Founder and CEO of Passionpreneur Publishing, described how he learned to adapt and thrive through life changes, such as when he was a teenager preparing for his university journey, his father dissuaded him from studying hospitality because of a cultural stereotype of the industry, which directed him into marketing and further into his future, the opportunity to move to Dubai to run a successful event company. However, the brothers and business partners Ashish and Pawan Ishwar, bespoke tailors and directors of Knights and Lords, designing a balance of creativity and formal education to create Knights and Lords, which the brothers described as a bespoke tailoring house built out of their united passion. Ahmed Al Jallaf, Assistant Director of General Air Navigation Services, discussed the importance of passion and his continuing education as the essential components of a successful career journey.

As I recap the three stories of career journeys, the insights of four guests indicated that the journey towards achieving one's passion at work is the work. However, once achieved, the efforts to excel continue for the individual, but the passion to stay resilient through the changes and competitive work environments makes the work feel less like work and more like passion. Moustafa Hamwi, Ashish Ishwar, Pawan Ishwar, and Ahmed Al Jallaf energetically shared how their current careers feel like the right choices. Ahmed claimed that self-discipline, staying informed and adapting to technological changes were foundational. Through his sharing, Moustafa encouraged that embracing life's unexpected twists was essential. Ashish and Pawan concluded that one must understand the difference between professionalism and business while embracing one's team's unique dynamic. Therefore, the insights from my podcast guests remind the reader to recall one's life and career experiences and understand how the past lived history influenced one's ability to thrive at work today. As I listened to the interviews, I was captivated by the vibrant energy they brought to their storytelling. Each guest did not robotically share their career journey insights; their passion for their work was evident. They each inspired me to reflect on my career journey. I wondered if my lived experiences also gave me the depth of how their career growth brought my guests joy and fulfillment. As I listened intently, their ability to captivate me with their journeys, it was almost too easy to assume that they each held a lucky charm through life. However, the career opportunities made available to each guest were not by luck but rather by their ability to show versatility and thrive in the face of career changes, life opportunities, and their deep passion for their work.

This blog aimed to discuss the career learnings and life nuggets my podcast guests shared. However, joy at work does not come without the transitions of work environments and the uncertainties that only life can throw at each of us at different life milestones. One can find purpose at work; however, I do not assume that one's purpose has to be fulfilled by work, but what one does for work can fulfill one's purpose. For example, Moustafa described his passion for helping inspire people to share their stories, Ashish and Pawan described their passion for helping individuals project their desired personal images, and Ahmed described his love for the complex and exciting field of aviation.

In conclusion, as my podcast guests highlighted in each of their interviews, the passion was already within them; life and work helped them remember the passion, and courage enabled them to pursue the journey that allowed them to connect work and passion so that each day was an experience of both. I leave this blog with the clarity of enthusiasm of recognising that work will always include moments of challenge, effort, and persistence. However, by dedicating each day to a purpose that inspires others and oneself, working will feel lighter and more fulfilling. Work has an incredible way of making one feel a connection to purpose. I wish that you, like my guests, can find the alignment between your passion and purposeful work that makes you thrive and feel alive - every day.

If you're looking for career clarity, THIS IS the workshop for you! Click on the link and register today!

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