How to Discover Your Purpose and Find a Job You Love

Startup Institute alumni and tech folks are generally curious, passionate, and driven. These three characteristics keep us going and help create an amazing tech ecosystem that continues to solve problems. Additionally, there is a collective belief that we should be happy at our jobs and follow our passions. But, why?

I was once told that every individual has the responsibility to use their skills and curiosity to better the world. If you are lucky enough to be in the position to focus on your "why," you’ll not only be helping yourself, but helping the world.

Once we graduate college, there are no majors or concentrations for you to focus on. There are no graduation requirements to help you know whether you are on the "right track." Instead, you have to figure out on your own what you want to "major in" in your life.[bctt tweet="After college, it's up to you to decide what to major in in life, says @lavidacomolamia"]

We will spend the majority of our lifetimes working. So, why not think of your job as someone paying you to learn? Whether you are making a career transition or are a recent graduate trying to figure out what you want to do, remember that any experience-- whether good or bad-- will lead you closer to figuring out your purpose.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. - Steve Jobs

Figuring out what you're passion about is not as simple as it sounds. Some people are able to discover it very quickly, but most of us are still trying to find what gives us that sense purpose. While each individual’s process to discovering passion is very different, here are some things that helped me reach mine:

Understand what frustrates you, and why you make the choices you do.

The first step is to watch Simon Sinek’s TEDTalk. Once you’ve watched, you’ll understand what makes people get up every morning ready to change the world. Simon Sinek believes that if we all strive to truly understand why we do what we do, we'll be able to surround ourselves with those who we have the ability to inspire, and those who can inspire us. In this way, we're able to get closer to our purposes.

Ask yourself- why you are interested in those topics that grab you? Why do you surround yourself with those people who you spend the most time with? Figure out what problems frustrate you and how you can combine and combat these with your skills and passion. That’s how you can create the biggest impact.

Consider your values and beliefs.

Your values and belief systems can help guide you when you are making tough decisions, but they can also help you figure out your personal mission. Additionally, these will help you to surround yourself with the right people. The people that you surround yourself will help push you, ground you, and most importantly, they'll help you to fulfill your dreams. Ultimately, understanding what you value on the most fundamental level can help you decide what company you want to spend your time working for.[bctt tweet="Understanding what you #value will help you decide what company to work for @lavidacomolamia"]

Be curious.

The best way to learn is to observe the world around you. You won’t know what your purpose is until you push yourself, leaning into new opportunities. Go to talks and events and learn about different topics. This is why networking is so helpful! The more you talk to people, not only are you likely to be inspired by their passions, but you may even found yours. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t limit yourself.[bctt tweet="The best way to learn is to observe the world around you, says @lavidacomolamia"]

Start small.

If you’ve figured out your purpose and don’t know how to get started turning that passion into a true focus and drive, take a moment to reflect to see what you can do with what you have. We often get caught up with our everyday lives and lofty ambitions seem too difficult to achieve. Create attainable goals, slowly moving your thoughts, time, and efforts in the direction of your dreams.[bctt tweet="Once you identify your #purpose, start moving in the direction of your dreams @lavidacomolamia"]

Photo credit: Yusef Felly via Flickr cc