You can’t buy a job that aligns with your passion and purpose; however, you can build these factors into your work. You see, finding purpose in a consulting career sends people down different paths, each offering unique experiences.
Even so, many people never search for their professional “calling” due to fear for the unknown and the risk of being unsuccessful. But this approach likely won’t open doors in your journey as a consulting professional, at least not the ones that will have a positive impact.
As Talent Managers who specialize in consulting careers for technology and design professionals, we see the glass as half full. There’s opportunity all around us, at all levels, and with the right attitude, network and experience, you can find the satisfaction and fulfillment that many people search for throughout their lifetime. Consider the following factors when building a purposeful consulting career:
Be Actionable With Your Consulting Career
You can’t think your way into a role that gives you purpose — it just won’t get the job done.
As Theodore Roosevelt once said,
“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
Uncovering the things in life that make you “tick” require action. By accepting that doing is stronger than thinking, you are well on your way in this process. The “what-ifs” in the world are irrelevant to your potential; hypothetical ideas only hold you back.
Developing your tool kit of “hard” and “soft” skills is a great way to boost your future value. Participating in skills workshop or completing a certification at an educational institution are worthy endeavors to strengthen your hard skills — things that can be learned or taught. The same mindset can be used for soft skills. Although you can’t sit in a classroom to learn empathy or creativity, you can certainly practice it daily, regardless of your workplace environment.
Striking a balance between hard and soft skills is crucial to being an effective consultant. As cultures and working environments shift, organizations turn to dynamic professionals to lead the way. As we see it, more and more consultants are chosen for their ability to solve difficult problems, build loyalty, and empower those around them. There has never been a better time to develop yourself in order to better help others.
Identify Your Sources of Purpose and Passion
Creating a consulting career around purpose and passion are two closely related concepts that fuel each other yet remain separate. This quote helps to better understand the passion vs. purpose relationship:
“Purpose is the reason for the journey, passion is the fire that lights the way. ”
In other words, to work with purpose, follow your passions as they will often lead you in the right direction to work ‘on purpose.’
Identifying the fulfilling aspects of a job yet alone career requires some initial testing. Similar to the world’s most successful stars, you have to practice in order to find success; along the way you will identify what you are good at.
It’s natural to feel intense pressure when searching for purpose or passion. Think of the journey as an opportunity for discovery in the workforce, and show optimism that you will one day find exactly what you want. Of course, a little patience goes a long way as you allow yourself to grow with new teams and learn from intelligent organizations. Remember, you’re not alone on the journey.
Once you identify the aspects of work that excite you, it’s time to do more of them. Make a change in your career or personal life related to these interests. Accept more responsibility in your work or seek a slight position change altogether that matches your source of interest. This is you “doing” versus thinking.
Through volunteering in a certain field, enrolling in a class, or even reading a new book, you initiate the search for purpose and passion. Finding balance or happiness won’t happen immediately, and you can expect more than one occasion of error, but this only makes the end goal that much more fulfilling. There’s no magic number of attempts, or right or wrong, only experiences that will reveal what professional opportunities best fit your personality, values, and skills.
Let Your Heart Lead the Search for Purpose
Although the brain tries to get in the way, passion comes from the heart. Finding your passion and purpose means uncovering the enjoyable parts of work; learning to enjoy work can provide a daily purpose you didn’t know existed. You see, the two factors are connected: living with purpose means leading with heart and not allowing your brain to make every rational decision. If you follow what feels right, rather than what you think is best, chances of locating happiness are in your favor.
Think of your heart as the Chief Creative Officer of your life. The more you listen to your feelings, the more inspiration will enter your life. The heart alerts you about what’s working during the testing process — work. We call it the ultimate system of checks and balances; some jobs make you feel good, but others not so much. The interconnectedness of passion and purpose allows emotion to flow freely, both inward to the soul and outward to the people who work alongside you.
Continue Learning While Working
During the process of identifying your ideal professional journey, there is no room for thinking that you are meant to do only one thing in life. By focusing on one passion, you’re limited to a narrow scope, and will continuously seek more than what you have. Instead, embrace the uncertainty of tomorrow and be open to the idea that you have multiple passions to pursue.
Learning new skills is a proactive way to drive motivation and creativity as a consultant. Whether you take classes to improve your writing or embark on something more technical, such as designing a digital product, up-skilling increases your value to employers.
And why limit your skillset? The more you do the more you know and the more value you can acquire for potential projects . Most importantly, by doing more passion-driven work you subsequently drive a more positive outlook on the future.
Working with purpose from this moment forward requires that you do more than yesterday, test your passions, lead with your heart, and learn new skills. The more attention you pay to these factors, the more connected you will be to the human experience and live a life filled with purpose, on purpose.
Are you ready to see what’s next?