Ever wondered what you could do with your life? I certainly have! Typically it’s happened every time I had a job that was so boring or so marginally engaging that I focusing on getting through that time period…. day to day, often hour by hour. More often than not, it was when I was in college — both undergraduate as well as graduate school. I learned what I didn’t want… and I learned things that I did want-which was pretty interesting. I learned many things and I switched grad school programs (and graduate schools) to engage in a program that gave me something more– something that caught my interest in a way that few things had done before. Writing my thesis was a challenge but I found researching my topic online (in the very early days of the ‘ wild wild web’ when it was more like Dodge or the OK Corral) was equally fascinating. I found people on my thesis topic who were available to talk to me in depth about my topic. My thesis turned out to be notable in its presentation and one that various experts in the allied field of my topic thought was insightful and showed a deep understanding of the topic. And those conversations, in turn, led me back to the web to find more people in similar areas and deeper into online content and discussions.
If that sounds incredibly circuitous, it was. No one says it will be easy. My way is not something that I would suggest for most people. I think everyone’s journey is individual to them– a very personal journey and exploration of who they are and what they are seeking to accomplish. How one actually finds that purpose to their life or what really gives them joy and a sense of accomplishment is a topic covered with some great suggestions and guidance by our guest blogger for today, Per Wickstrom. Per is probably best known for his work in drug rehabilitation and it’s the work that has given his life a larger-than-life purpose and rich with meaning. This topic isn’t about him as much as how it is also involved with the work he does– because for him, he found it to be useful to help those in need of rehabilitation.
Life After College: Finding a Career that Gives You Purpose
This is truly one of those elusive, sometimes hard-to-find, sometimes inescapable things, this thing called, “purpose.” How does one find purpose, really? How does one attain that elusive, often-sought-after but seemingly rarely-caught career that just makes you feel like you have the best career in the world?
Photo by kvrkchowdari
How do you achieve that perfect position where you can actually get excited about getting out of bed in the morning, and get really stoked about going to work? It’s not easy; it’s actually a challenge, but it is possible, and I have seen people all across the nation achieve these goals time and time again. Heck, I know for certain I have found a career that really gives me purpose, and that is my current goal and mission of opening and operating several drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation centers.
How does one find a career that is conducive to giving purpose? What is the key to this? In my adult life I have worked in many different careers and types of businesses and companies. I worked in the automotive industry for years. I worked in manufacturing and industrial factories. I sold art and exquisite rugs. I helped manage the family business for a few years. I enjoyed all of those careers and all of those jobs. I started businesses and I managed other companies. I worked professionally in about half a dozen states over the course of a couple decades. But it wasn’t until I started building, constructing, and putting together and running drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation centers that I truly felt like I had found my absolute purpose and calling in life.
I have worked hard and succeeded in any field that I have worked in, but the sheer level of production and happiness I have gotten out of the rehabilitation of my fellow human beings from the terrors of drug and alcohol addiction has by far been the most rewarding experience I have ever felt. The success I have had in this endeavor has been on a totally different order of magnitude from any career success I have ever experienced before in my life.
My Thoughts on “Purpose”
The generic answer to finding the career that gives you the most purpose is of course, “Figure out what you like doing the most and then find a way to make money doing it.” How many times have we heard this phrase repeated over and over and over again? It’s gotten pretty old. Furthermore, how does one even do that? The idea is the right idea, but we need to go into greater depth with it. We need to break down that concept of finding what makes you happiest and really look at it from all angles, sides, and aspects.
Step one is to figure out what would really fulfill you as an individual. Maybe you love kids and want to help kids. Maybe you always loved history in school and you want to make money with history. Perhaps you were always happiest outdoors as a youth, and you want to find a way to make money and be outdoors at the same time.
You need to ask yourself a series of questions to really get to the bottom of how to find purpose in a career. Here’s what I want you to ask yourself:
• What do fulfillment and purpose actually look like for you in real life?
• Do you envision a specific lifestyle and way of living that you would be a part of?
• What are you actually going to be doing with your life day-to-day?
• What does your personal home environment look like, rom the home you live in- including the area?
• Who is around you on a day-to-day basis in the form of colleagues, clients, and passersby?
• What problems are you solving daily, weekly, monthly?
• When you’re reading the news, what stories do you gravitate towards that are the most interesting to you that you would like to be a part of?
Next, make a list of different careers that could align with your basic purpose. Let’s say it was, “I love the outdoors and being out in nature and I want to make a good living where I am outside a lot.” Take your list of potential careers that involve being outside and cross check each item on that list with your answers to the above questions. What career lines up well with the most answers to the above questions? That might be the one to pick, but there are always more questions you could ask yourself, and the more you think about it, the more career ideas may come to mind. You can also use the internet to get lists of careers in your area that involve your basic purpose to expand your mind and your options for your purposeful career.
A Note on Entrepreneurship
I have worked for dozens of different companies in my life and have opened and run many of my own businesses. While I have enjoyed every career adventure I have been in, I must say there is nothing more rewarding (http://www.inc.com/guides/201101/top-10-reasons-to-run-your-own-business.html) than opening your own business and running it and owning it. This could be your ace in the hole. If you can’t find a career or job description that matches with your answers to all of the questions about how you envision your life to be, then just create a career that does just that! Maybe you like being in the outdoors a lot, but you don’t like the idea of, “working for the man,” as a park ranger, a land surveyor, an environmentalist, etc. How about you set off as an entrepreneur and start your own business of opening a number of privately owned campgrounds in your home state? The sky’s the limit when you are your own boss, and the opportunity for advancement, higher income, and expansion is absolutely endless.
Bio for Per Wickstrom:
Per Wickstrom (https://about.me/per_wickstrom)is the founder and CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation, one of the top holistic rehabilitation centers in the country. He found sobriety after a decades-long struggle with addiction and has since dedicated his life and career to helping others find the same life-affirming success he has. His program (http://www.bestdrugrehabilitation.com/blog/interviews/fusicology-interviews-per-wickstrom/)is based on natural and holistic methods and has helped lead hundreds to recovery.
Connect with Per Wickstrom on these platforms
Website: Best Drug Rehabilitation
I would like to thank Per Wickstrom for his very insightful article on finding your purpose and finding a purposeful career that really excites you and puts fire and meaning in your life.
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