A Purpose-Driven Job Is More Realistic Than A Dream Job. Here’s How To Find It

By Shaunna Kaufmann
·  7 min read
How To Find Your Purpose-Driven Job

It was not until I was 33 years of age that I started thinking to myself “Man, I love what I do for a living.”

33 years! That’s a long time to not know what job you were meant to have, not know what career was calling your name. I understand having that feeling in college. That is, after all, one of the most common things to ask upon admission: What degree do I get? What career do I want? What am I meant to do for a living? But in your 30s? Two marriages and two kids later? Man, I thought I was behind — until I started noticing that I wasn’t alone. 

A lot of my fellow peers hated their jobs. Many family members I knew were viewing their jobs as just that, a job. Many were just graduating college in their 30s, still questioning if they even got the right degree. Not knowing what job we’re meant to have is a very common question we ask ourselves, probably throughout our lives.

Our Dream Jobs and Real Life

I honestly don’t think that any human being will have it all together. Even if you were an expert in your field, new things are discovered every day — thus, changing our opinion on things. 

Taking that fact into consideration, when I read a “self-help” book, I’m always relieved and encouraged when they display the reality of things, even the very thing they’re writing the book about. A book titled How to be Happy, for example, would be an incredibly dumb book if it promised foolproof happiness because sometimes we’re miserable. It doesn’t matter WHAT that book said; we’re miserable every once in a while. Therefore, remember that no matter the tips and advice we read, we will oftentimes return back to square one, having to relearn something over and over again. We change, the world changes, and we need to learn to adapt and adjust accordingly.

We change, the world changes, and we need to learn to adapt and adjust accordingly.

When I was a child, I wanted to be an archaeologist. Today, I’m not an archaeologist. Why? Because I changed throughout the past 10 years. I realized I was too lazy to become an archaeologist. I also realized I was a dumb, desperate girl who wanted freedom from a strict upbringing, so I married young and got pregnant young. I became the stereotypes of the typical housewife: I became a “photographer,” a blogger, a “take any remote job I could find” SAHM (I drew the line at Scentsy and Mary Kay). 

It took a few reality checks and several detours before I got back on course (if that “course” even exists), during which my goals, preferences, and dreams changed. I found myself in my second marriage, working for a school district, and owning a business on the side while my husband was the stay-at-home with our children. BOOYA!

Drastically different, huh? Tell me about it.

How did I get from dreaming of one dream job (archaeology) to my purpose-driven job? Failure. Failure is how I got here.

Finding Your Purpose-Driven Job

When I went to visit my family in the jungles of Michoacan, Mexico, I quickly learned that the perfect job doesn’t exist and isn’t realistic for many people in the world. Some people have to make a living a certain way. You think the farmer breaking his back every day is living the dream? I saw men and women doing hard labor every day to make a living. 

The key is to embrace what comes your way by reacting to it the best you can.

Do you think they don’t have the option to have a purpose-driven job? Of course, they do. It’s all about attitude. It’s not about loving what you do. It’s about loving yourself. Your attitude and mindset determine how you perceive both your job and your life.

The key is to embrace what comes your way by reacting to it the best you can. It’s not necessarily a dream you have to accomplish. It’s an attitude you keep about you every day, no matter what life throws your way. That is “purpose-driven.” That is focused. That is living your best life.

I will share with you five things to keep in mind in order to find your purpose-driven job.

It’s Okay To Start Over 

Never hesitate to propose a “do-over” at any point in your life. I have taken several “do-overs” in my life so far, and I probably have a few more on the horizon — and there’s nothing wrong with that. Again, as I stated above, life changes, people change, people leave, and you adjust, so naturally your job should adjust too. Therefore, if you’re able to change the job you have to do something you feel drawn to do, do it. Propose something else. Start over, and keep starting over.

If you’re able to change the job you have to do something you feel drawn to do, do it.

Live for Something Greater 

Believing in something bigger than what’s inside our own bubble helps us not feel like we’re all alone, that no one else can relate, that it’s all about us. It's not! So many have been there, done that. So many have it worse than we do. In fact, there’s no question that many do have it worse. It’s important to remind ourselves of that fact and relax a bit. 

Having this realistic mindset will help you, perhaps, view things differently. Perhaps it will help you to see your job situation as not all that bad. It might help you see the good vs the bad; thus, helping you enjoy your job more than you did when you complained all the time.

If You’re a Procrastinator, There Will Never Be a Job You Feel Driven To or Fully Enjoy

I mean, how can you when you’re getting written up all the time for being late on deadlines or not completing assignments? We already emotionally feel disappointed (well, some of us do) when we don’t complete our daily to-do lists. If you’re not a motivated person to begin with, it won’t matter WHAT job you have or how much you love it. It won’t feel like the best fit when your personality needs major adjustments. 

Working hard is going extinct. People prefer things to be handed to them or won the easy way. People don’t want to work hard for things these days. In a world where technology is helping things be more simple (“Alexa, turn on my heat to 69 degrees,” “Turn on Riverdale”), working hard is becoming a task instead of a natural response.

Working hard is becoming a task instead of a natural response.

Don’t Be Afraid of Correction; Always Be Open to Learning

Remembering that we always have room for improvement will help us become an expert in a field where we will naturally learn to feel more connected to what we do — thus making it our purpose-driven job. When people start to come to us because they know that we know our stuff, it makes us feel really good and confident in what we do for a living.

Forgive Yourself

If you don’t take care of yourself, there isn’t any job or any thing that will make you feel like you belong. After all, that’s what a purpose-driven job is all about — that sense of belonging there. I had to learn to forgive myself and my failures. Once I did that, my career path was laid out gloriously before me because my mindset was right, my attitude was right, and I was motivated because I valued myself and every step I took.

Closing Thoughts

Everyone seems to be looking for their purpose these days. People want to know what they’re here for, and unfortunately, I’m not the one who holds the answer to that. All I do know is that it starts with you, and it consists of bettering your mind. Once we have a healthy mental viewpoint on things, the rest just seems to flow outwardly effortlessly. Therefore, give thanks always and work hard always.

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