“How can I make a difference with my work? How can I use my profession to serve others? Is it too late to switch career?” We’ve all asked ourselves these questions at some point in our lives and we choose to either ignore or find the answers to these mind-boggling questions.
The past year has been one where I had to be comfortable being uncomfortable, and I finally mastered the art of listening to my inner voice. To get to that point, I had to slowly find answers for myself to the following questions.
1. Am I putting the needs of others above my own?
I had a totally different approach as to how I wanted to pen this down until I came across a post on Facebook that made me take a complete turn in my thought process. The post ended with this line:
“If you shift your attitude from “what can I get?” to “how can I make a difference today?” it changes everything.”
As I processed this, I realized how I’ve done injustice to myself and to the world through my selfishness in the past. In each role of my work life I’d first look at how the experience would be beneficial to me and to my endeavors, knowing that as the only way to climb up the corporate ladder. A couple weeks in, I’d then feel so dissatisfied and looking back, I realized that this was greatly brought by the tunnel vision of forgetting that my main responsibility was to serve others and God through my job function above everything else. This is a life lesson: putting the needs of others above your own is the greatest good.
2. How are my actions making positive change?
We are all currently chasing our dreams, passions, careers, you name it. But how many times do we sit back and think: “How are my actions making positive change?” “How am I contributing to the betterment of humanity and society?” You may at times feel like you don’t have what it takes to do this but always remember: You are more than enough. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Truth be told, initiating and acting on this is not as easy as saying it. As we strive to find meaning in our work, let us remember that we are not alone, and if we ask God to help us find our true purpose, He will guide us to where and how He wants us to help people.
For the longest time, I knew that I found peace and joy in providing support and assistance to friends as well as people I barely knew. I used to think this was just an independent aspect of my life. Then one quiet morning at work I came across Ashley Empower’s YouTube interview with Dozie Ezema on “Single, Saved & Secure.” My greatest take away was what Dozie mentioned on Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. That, for a lot of people is difficult to understand, but it’s simple and straightforward. Seeking God’s kingdom is living in light of truth and understanding with pure intent and love. Living for others and not for oneself. This is God’s will and the way he intends us to live, and by doing so we open a channel of opportunities and a means through which we could be tools of God’s work on earth.
3. Do I know who I am in Christ?
A frequently asked question that inquires the nature of our connection to our Creator. When you have a strong relationship with Christ, you will no longer be sidetracked by external noise and distractions. You’ll always be confident when God directs you to your calling, and you will be capable of undertaking the toughest of tasks. Your profession is a means of serving God and others, learning new skills, and engaging in mind-opening activities which constantly increase your capacity to serve.
A few months to my graduation I realized my passion was technology albeit commerce being my major area of study. I was filled with fear that I spent 4 years doing a program I did not want to pursue as a career and did not have the passion for. But as I prayed, asking God for guidance and embracing the principle of service to others, I came to realize that my commerce experience was and still is beneficial to me more than ever. I realized how technology is integrated in almost all business functions. I started seeing how I could incorporate it into my career.
4. Do I have a student for life mindset?
Taking part in new learning opportunities allows you to work better and smarter expanding your horizons. It is not a deviation from your work but an added advantage. You become the go-to person when people need help, increasing your value and that of your company. New skills and knowledge are integral parts of daily growth and strength. Looking back since, embracing my passion and my profession was a turning point that made me more valuable to others and even strengthened my confidence. God wants us to become limitless in our potential so that we may become a service to others in life; that’s why He gave us a hundred billion neurons in our brains to enable the efficient learning of new skills and to constantly build new connections in the world and to each other.
What other questions do you ask yourselves? Are there other ways to ensure you keep improving as a person?