When it comes to our careers I think one of the most important things we have to ask ourselves is ‘why?’. Why have you chosen this path? What’s the purpose behind it? What drives you?
After studying media writing at uni I wanted to be a music journalist. I reviewed gigs and interviewed bands, but after a while, I decided it was just too competitive a market and not for me.
So I changed direction into fashion. I loved clothes and thought writing about them would be fun. I wanted to move to London too, because that’s what all the cool kids do right?
I finally got a job at a fashion website in London – the dream! Except it wasn’t really.
I was the ‘online assistant’ which basically meant customer service. I got to write the odd blog but in all honesty – it was awful. The company owners were clueless about the online world and I was getting myself in debt travelling to and from London.
By this point I realised that fashion was also not for me.
I just did not care enough.
I wanted a job that felt meaningful. I wanted to give something back. I even looked into training to be a counsellor, but decided against it because, more than anything else, I wanted to write.
Thankfully, I found a job that combined my love of writing with my desire for a sense of purpose at Memiah. I get to write about things I care about now like mental health, nutrition and wellness.
And while I know I won’t be at this company forever, I feel I’ve found my purpose, I’ve found my why.
I want to help people. I want people to read what I write and for it to inspire something in them. I want to provide helpful information to help somone take the next step on their journey. I want to offer something of use in the vast expanse of the internet.
So that’s my why. Why I’ve chosen this career, hell, it’s why I started this blog.
Finding your why – some pointers
- Ask yourself the question. When I first entered the world of work, I didn’t even ask myself why I wanted to be in the industries I chose. I just knew I liked music and I liked fashion, therefore I should work in these fields, right? Not necessarily. Remember, you can have passions without turning them into careers – ask the question, why?
- Notice when you get in a state of ‘flow’. The flow state is when you are so engrossed in an activity that time seems irrelevant. You feel calm, at peace and almost in a meditative state. Now, what are you doing when this happens? Could this point you in a new career direction?
- Talk to someone in the field. If you’re considering entering a certain industry but aren’t sure what it’s really like, try to find someone who works in it now. Ask them what they get out of the job and consider if you’re likely to get the same out of it.
- Work on it outside of work. If you’re in a job that isn’t your cup of tea, but you’re unsure of what you’re next move should be, find a passion project. Work on something outside of your 9-5 that fulfils you and maybe in time you can turn your side-hustle into and full-time hustle.
I hope these pointers help. Often, it’s a simple case of trial and error, but you’ll get there. Being able to fulfil your why every day at work is worth, well, working for.