Have you figured this out yet?

At what point do we learn or KNOW who we are, and get it ‘right’ by aligning ourselves with the right job?   What about aligning ourselves with the right company, working with the right people and doing meaningful work?

For me, this was something that I was hunting and searching for the longest time.  I got out of school with my degree in HR and was determined to get a job that aligned to my degree.  From there, I figured I would just continue to grow in my job, learn new skills, figure out with experience what I liked, what I didn’t like, etc.   All the while, not even questioning that maybe I was just going through the motions and doing things that I didn’t necessarily think I should be doing, but more that I knew how to do, I learned to do and I would grow to enjoy.

I didn’t take the time to ask once – does this align with WHO I am?

I remember being in my first job out of University working for a global tier 1 organization, having exploratory conversations probably 2 years into my time there.  I connected with colleagues who were more experienced than me and further along in their career, seeking advice on what I could do next, questioning their journey, asking what I needed to do to help me along my path, etc.  One executive went as far to say..

Well Lisa, if you don’t know what you want to do by a certain age and a certain time with a company, that’s not very good and it won’t look good on youYou really need to figure that out.”

I couldn’t believe this was the ADVICE I was getting from an executive…

Don’t worry, my story ends well… 🙂

I sat there embarrassed and ashamed that I didn’t know what my next steps were and what I was meant to do.  Furthermore, that I just had someone who I thought I could trust and receive some guidance and support from– advice that would assure me, it’s OK I’ll figure it out eventually.  Instead, I got THAT response.

Fast forward, I changed jobs (right around the recession in Toronto – that was fun) and later landed an opportunity that would add 8 + years to my career learning a ton all the while.  I did some soul searching, research, reflected, confided in people I trusted, sought business professionals, spiritual leaders (in their own right), you name it –  all in the name of finding out what the heck I was supposed to be doing and how do I get there.

I’ll never forgot meeting a woman 11 years ago by the name of Rain who was an extraordinary intuitive healer and who was skilled in reading aura’s, telling me – Lisa, how can you know what you’re meant to do in your career, when you’re still figuring out who you are?” That resonated with me so much and I never forgot that.

So what’s my point?  Well for starters, knowing who you are makes a huge impact on your LIFE – not just your career.  We’ve all met those people and thought, that person should not be in that position and on the flip side, have come across people and said, he/she are doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing and are amazing at it.   As a recruiter, you become skilled at identifying this very quickly over time.

There are far too many people in jobs they shouldn’t be in, are not supposed to be in, and working for the wrong companies which is ultimately a disservice for both parties.  You have people in jobs they don’t like, likely not THAT great at, working for a company that likely doesn’t see much value in them, can’t do much with them and the two co-exist either knowing or unknowingly.  This of course has a ripple effect.

You not only waste your own time in a ‘job’ you’re less than satisfied with, waste your actual gifts and talents that you possess, but your company isn’t going to change and magically start validating you and recognizing you.  This isn’t about hiring the right people although it’s something to consider and re-assess as an organization if you do feel like you’re missing the mark.  This is about fundamentally understanding who you are as a person, what your natural strengths are and aligning that with a Life Purpose – not a job, a Life Purpose.

I challenge you to do some soul searching if you’re at a point in your life and career either experienced or just getting started and ask yourself the tough questions.  There’s no expiry date on when to figure this out, but WE are not on this earth, living in this physical world forever.  So take the time to reflect, ask questions, soul search and don’t waste your gifts.

Remember one thing, with all the advice and voices you will hear,  the one that matters the most is your own.

I’d love to hear from you.  Wherever you’re at in your career, do you feel that you’re in the right job and it aligns with WHO you are?  What steps did you take to get there?  Leave your comment below.

I leave you with one more thing.  This talk by author and writer Elizabeth Gilbert on following what makes you curious on Super Soul Sessions.  This resonated with me and I hope it provides some inspiration to you too.

“The Flight of the Hummingbird:  The Curiosity Driven Life” – watch the full episode here.

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