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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Purpose vs. Profession

Purpose and profession are not necessarily the same thing. It sounds simple, right? Yet, most of us (including me) often go through life defining themselves by what they do and how it will influence what they will leave behind. When I lost my previous job, I didn't know what to think of myself. I have written about that before. I had gone through life to that point defining myself as a lawyer first. Then, I became more of myself and less of my job title because...well, I didn't have a job title. Then, when I got a new job, I had trouble defining myself because I wasn't practicing law and there was some sense of loss in that. When I started to get adjusted to my new role and I began to love my job, I began to feel what I thought was purpose surging through my veins again. The only drawback was that I was struggling financially. Then, there was the health insurance fiasco that I wrote about a few weeks ago. And all of a sudden, seemingly out of the sky came a potential job offer that would pay me 4 times what I am making now. All of it led to a series of questions. Is money the right reason to leave a job? If working in my current job is truly my purpose, why am I struggling so much? If I am not meant to go back to corporate practice, why did this opportunity come to me? Then, I was reading "The Purpose Driven Life" last night and came across the line that purpose and profession are not necessarily the same thing. I have owned this book for several years now and started it a couple of times but never stuck with it. To be honest, I never got past chapter two. But everything happens for a reason and things (and people) come into your life when they are supposed to. I happened to be in my husband's home office on Friday telling him about my day. After I finished talking, I turned to go downstairs to veg out on the sofa and relax in front of the TV. Then, for some reason, I decided to stay. I turned on NBC to watch my new favorite show: Who Do You Think You Are? and plopped down in the client chair. On a commercial break, I was staring at the bookshelf and there it was. I picked it up and started reading it on commercial breaks. The book prompts you to read just one short chapter per day and to reflect on the focus of each chapter for that day. After reading through the first three chapters, I have walked away with a couple of thoughts but most important was the thought that opened this entry.  

My profession doesn't have to define me and I don't have to give all of myself to my job. I can work and get paid enough to live on, have better health insurance options and still make time to pursue my passions. Maybe I was led to my current job to find my purpose and then, once I further developed a passion for helping others and not just giving lip service to it, an opportunity came so that I can prosper both financially and physically. This revelation brings me full circle to when I started this blog.  When I started the site, in the description of myself, I wrote "This blog is to document my journey from six figures to no figures and back (hopefully). Circumstances have led me to find a new me. I guess if I am ever going to start over and create a life where I like what I do and still manage to be financially secure, it might as well be now."

I do like what I am doing now but I am certainly not financially secure. In fact, I am sinking more and more everyday but I HAVE found a new me. A me that puts me higher on my list of priorities and won't sacrifice my passions and interests for my career. A me that doesn't feel guilty about taking a stand for myself...and perhaps, soon, a me that is financially secure. All that in less than a year. I wonder what the rest of the year will bring!