Nursing home worker

Identifying your purpose and calling

Get in alignment to truly reap the benefits of your career

4 minute read
Nursing home worker

To unlock your potential, you must first align with – and identify – your purpose and calling.

When an employee works towards their desired goals, both the individual and the organisation can garner the rewards.

According to executive coach and employee self-development consultant Go Higher Founder Madeleine Long, clarifying your personal purpose is a fundamental building block to your career and life fulfilment.

“Your purpose comes from the core of who you are,” she said.

How to identify your purpose and calling?

Ms Long said to discover your personal purpose, there were some questions you could ask yourself.

This includes what you love to do, who you do it for, what these people want or need and how to change or transform as a result.

She said it was also important to work with purpose and meaning, in line with your personal values.

“Your values reflect what is important to you,” Ms Long said.

“They are a shorthand way of describing your individual motivations.

“Together with personal purpose, they are the causal factors driving your decision-making.”

According to International Coaching Federation-certified personal and professional growth coach Dr Hauck Coaching Founder Ute Hauck, people need to reflect on what is important to them in life, where they identify opportunities for personal and professional development, and how to develop a growth mindset.

Dr Hauck said coaching is an effective tool to empower individuals and unlock their potential to achieve sustainable transformational change.

“Sometimes perceived challenges can actually present opportunities,” she said.

“Coaching helps people recognise their unique skills and strengths, challenge limiting beliefs and plan meaningful action steps.

“Building this confidence enables them to follow their true calling in the future because they can now embrace something which was previously experienced as a challenge and an unsurmountable roadblock.”

How will you know when you are in alignment?

Dr Hauck said aligning with your purpose and calling made life meaningful and supported your mental health.

“You feel happy and you feel content in yourself,” she said.

“You wake up in the morning and just know you embrace every day because you make a difference.”

Dr Hauck said this included not just making a difference to yourself but others too.

“A key element of purpose is making a positive difference in others’ lives which, in turn, leads to feeling fulfilled and motivated.”

According to Ms Long, there are many ways to know if you are aligning with your true purpose and calling – both physically and emotionally.

“For example, when you can use your strengths and feel challenged and rewarded – either extrinsically or intrinsically – you often just know you are purposefully working,” she said.

“You feel happy and energetic, you can clearly focus and you are highly productive.

“Feeling stressed, bored, overly sensitive or unchallenged at work may be signs you are not aligned with your passion and purpose.

“Procrastination can also be an indication of purpose misalignment.”

How will aligning with your purpose enhance your career

When it comes to aligning your purpose and calling with your career trajectory, Ms Long advised to dream first and then set goals.

“This process of dreaming and goal development will help reveal your career trajectory,” she said.

“It also helps you develop key strategies and plans in terms of new job skills, networks, wellbeing and leveraging your strengths.”

Ms Long recommended starting by taking time for self-reflection in a relaxed environment away from distractions.

“This could be walking in nature, sitting on your favourite chair at home or anywhere else where you feel calm,” she said.

“Think back to a time when you felt enthusiastic at work.

“What were you doing?

“Who were you working with?

“What made you feel rewarded?

“How did you feel emotionally?

“What opportunities can you explore now, which can help you get back to that feeling? Could it be in a different role or a different company or industry? What would your dream job look like?

“Be specific in terms of how it would make you feel if you secured that dream job.”

According to Dr Hauck, exploring your talents within a safe coaching environment helps you to align your purpose with your career trajectory, leading to a better work-life alignment and a more satisfying career.

“Identifying goals helps clients actively seek opportunities to utilise their talents – whether through pursuing a new role or exploring professional development opportunities – and hold themselves accountable for implementing them,” she said.

“Explore available educational opportunities and consider the types of degrees that align with your career aspirations.

“It’s also very important to engage with your colleagues and expand your network – you learn so much when you talk to them.

“Often these conversations serve as a catalyst for reflection on beliefs, prompting you to challenge them and grow.”

Take the leap of faith

Dr Hauck emphasised the importance of always trying to embrace challenges.

“The reward for stepping out of your comfort zone and taking risks is far greater than staying on a safe path,” she said.

“It demands courage and self-belief but leads to significant personal and professional growth.

“Ultimately, recognising personal and professional growth, along with happiness, forms the foundation of purpose alignment in one’s career.

“You know you’re following your calling when you find happiness and fulfilment in your work.

“While remaining open-minded to exploring other opportunities or applying your talents in other areas, the most rewarding aspect is waking up each morning and saying ‘yes, I’m so happy to go to work because I can make a difference and I will have an impact’.”