I remember in primary school, I had different interests compared to the ones I have now. During that time, I admired priests because by then I was a staunch Catholic, at the same time playing soccer and following international soccer was my hobby. I also played with toys and watched movies a lot. Watching movies inspired me to respect soldiers and admire becoming one.
In fact, my answer to one of our teachers, who asked us what we want to become after school was, to be an Engineer or Priest or Soldier.
Believe you me, I had no idea the interests shift and so will the responsibility. Today I’m a software developer who happily works for my own company. Looking at the journey, I’m persuaded to share about the career topic. Therefore, in this article, expect tips and advise but not drawing conclusions.
Let’s start with why
By statistics, 50% of people in America want to quit their jobs, I have used America because it’s a little bit easier to find information about it but the number could be quite high in my own country – Uganda. Of course, not a single individual would want to leave if they were happy.
The thought of wanting to quit is hugely influenced by how someone feels as opposed to what they are paid. People want to feel respected, loved, cared for and empowered. However, from the very start, people are not trained to embrace and recognize the inner selves. As we grow we learn to live for what others say of us or how they judge us than who we truly are and capable of.
How do I design my career for happiness and fulfillment?
1. Discover why
The most important day in someone’s life is the day they were born, the day discover why and the day they align the why with momentum – Bosco Anthony
Bosco Anthony’s words were drawing inspiration from the greats i.e. Albert Einstein and Bob Marley. The people who lived a legacy and left a legacy.
Getting to know your purpose is quite fulfilling and helpful for as long as one will live. It’s the basis of personal integrity and self-positioning. It’s the ground for influential and successful people.
When Mark Zuckerberg got to define his mission to connect people in the world, he was fuelled and created a process which could easily enable people to connect and share meaningful moments. In fact, Facebook was built around the same purpose.
You too can become the person you dream, but after knowing who you really are and the reason for your existence.
After participating in the Unleash Dreams, a program invented by David Reeve, I have never been energetic and happier. I hugely recommend the program.
In the USA, Simon Sinek has done a great job, transforming people by helping them to discover their purpose through his Start with Why program and book.
In Uganda, if you want to learn and discover your life purpose, people like Andrew Bakutana and Lawrence Namale are commendable for their experience and achievements.
2. Identify the value or principles
What makes a strong shoe is the kind of material it’s made of. So are humans. Think of it, why is it only 1% of the world’s population is the wealthiest? Aren’t they humans, don’t they share the same 24 hours like you and I? Don’t they have fears, sufferings and struggles like all of us? Of course, they do. But the difference is how they decide to live a life as opposed to the other 99% of the people in the world.
The Unleash Dreams program emphasizes that every individual should identify about 8 values to be the guiding principle of their lives. However, they shouldn’t be self-centered.
As humans, we exist to support each other, so at all cost, an individual’s values should be generously empathetic.
When I identified my purpose and values, it gave me a point of reference and introspection for my daily decisions and actions. The most important part is that it put me at a state where I don’t have expectations and judgement of others. I experience less self-damage than it was because of the self-evaluation discipline that comes with it.
3. Get the purpose(mission), values and your doing connected
Do you remember Bosco Anthony’s quote, that I stated earlier in this particular article? It emphasizes one having to balance their purpose with momentum. Momentum is what one does, it is thinking, talking, eating, relationship, etc.
In other words, our purpose and values must have a point of connection/intersection. So that we can have balance as we live life every single minute.
4. Aspire for a connected profession
I put discovering purpose, values and practicing them earlier than this point for a reason. I know 95% of people in the world, live a life of their elders, parents or guardians at least until the age of 16 though, the majority remain victims. But at this point in life, you have no one to blame for your losses and failures. Yes, it’s scary but that’s the way it is.
As much as people might advise you to choose a certain path because it comes with higher pay and benefits, it’s you to fulfill the responsibility as opposed to them.
If you choose to be a surgeon, for example, you might spend 90 hours per week in the surgery room. The issue is not about the time you’re spending there but for what purpose are you spending these hours awake and working. What drives your decision should always be natural i.e. the purpose and values, not money or other artificial things.
5. Knowing your passions is equally important
When I was a boy, playing soccer was my major activity combined with watching movies. It was easy for someone to say that my passion was around those two activities. But I have to tell you that as humans we always want to be in a comfort zone, we want to be at a position where we are treated as if we mattered even if in actuality we don’t matter. On the other side of the coin, what other choices did I have? Definitely, the only choice for me was to play soccer but at no way, was it a passion.
After so many years, I realized my passion was to help people find joy, peace, and fulfillment. Realizing this later than sooner, gave me a hard time to add things up. To the extent that those who were in the process of self-discovery, I couldn’t notice. Since my passion required being as close as possible to people especially to those who are vulnerable, it was easy to be taken advantage of.
To avoid negative self-destructive thoughts, it’s better to take time to discover and isolate your interests from your passion. It’s a great career step.
6. Relationships matter
It is scaring the number of teenagers and people of early twenties, I have spoken to, only to confess that they don’t remember the name of their high school teacher, don’t have meaningful conversations with parents, church and community leaders.
People of such background may find it hard to become outstanding. They missed out on the sense of love, care, and great life lessons and their self-esteem, self-belief, and confidence was killed early enough.
For most of their lives, they will dwell on the negative actions in their lives because earlier in life they were not taught how to draw and recognize positive energy.
In fact, statically, convicts of sexual abuse, broken marriages, poor work performance, drug abuse, murder and all sorts of wrongdoing have a history of an earlier lonely life. Contrary to every successful person for whom, had someone or a group of people offering support in any way at different stages in life.
My suggestion is that if you are a parent, teacher, leader, guardian, relative or adult treat the young and adult people around you with respect and peace.
If you are a young person, learn to control your anger and feed on the food called forgiving. Because when you become an adult, you realize how much imperfect humans are. Be inquisitive and engage adults with all sorts of questions, that come your way, this is how you build relationships.
If you are an employer, consider that people have different backgrounds both the hard ones and good ones. Endeavor to find out prior to employing them so that you don’t end up causing damage. Learn to talk to workers even in the most difficult times.
In this part of how to design your career for ultimate happiness and fulfillment, I have shared some tips and advice about designing your career with the aim of long term/permanent happiness and fulfillment. In part two of this topic, I will talk about how financial discipline, faith, love, work tools, physical and mental health, professional challenges and the resume come into the equation. By the end of the series, I hope the reader will have discovered the secrets of designing an amazing career.
I’m sure there is so much that I don’t even know about. The good news is, it’s there with you in your thoughts. Why die with it, yet sharing is caring? I invite you the floor, let’s share some love in the comment box below.