Finding the Career You Were Born to Do

 “I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing, but I do know this isn’t it.”

This can be a frustrating realization, especially when you have talent, knowledge, skills and abilities that you want to contribute. And, you want to be happy and fulfilled as well as successful. When

  • You’re not happy in your chosen career
  • You hate your job
  • There’s so much more that you want to contribute
  • Or you’re asking yourself “Why am I doing this?” every day

The misery you’re feeling should get your attention and let you know it’s time to have greater satisfaction in your career and life by finding out what you were born to do.

“Making it Work” Doesn’t Work

Have you ever been in a job that you knew wasn’t right for you and for whatever reason – a mortgage payment, school loan, bills, or the sheer fright of having to start over again – you stayed with it? Spending eight to ten precious hours each day doing a job that doesn’t excite you or resonate with who you are creates stress, causes burnout, and has a powerful negative effect on your health, your relationships, and your life. I know because I did it.

The defining moment for me was when I fell down 18 steps, almost breaking my neck, on my way to a business meeting. I was exhausted from an overwhelming workload and back-to-back cross-country trips. As I was rolling down those stairs, I heard my neck crack, and I wondered if I’d ever walk again. In the quiet solitude of the emergency room, the tough question I’d been shoving aside for a long time came to the surface: “What am I doing this for?”

No longer willing to feel like I was just surviving for a paycheck or to sacrifice my well-being, I began to discover my purpose. Shifting into a rewarding career that included greater satisfaction, balance, and happiness as well as success, became my priority. Since 2001 I’ve been guiding other professionals to do the same.

You Have a Purpose

Rumi, the 12th century Persian Mystic and Poet said, “Everyone has been called for some particular work and the desire for that work has been put in his or her heart.”

Each of us is born with a distinct set of talents and gifts. Everyone has a specific design like no one else, with a special role to play and a unique contribution to make. Knowing your purpose helps you find the career path and job that is right for you. It shows you where you fit and helps you understand where you don’t.

Without really being conscious of it, we all do what we are born to do. We can’t help but live our unique design. The problem comes from doing what you are designed to do in a job that isn’t the right fit. How do you know that the job you’re in isn’t a good fit for you? You’ll most likely feel at odds with something — a boss, a co-worker, what your company stands for, the hours it takes away from living the life you really want, or a lack of recognition for what you contribute.

Imagine you have a natural talent for seeing how to solve a problem and you know exactly what needs to be done. But you have a boss who won’t listen, or the resources aren’t there for you to fix what’s bugging you. Your creativity and problem solving skills aren’t recognized or appreciated so you most likely would feel frustrated, underappreciated and unrewarded.

The disharmony that exists between who you are and what you’re doing can hamper feeling joy from your work. It is a true sign that what you’re doing is out of alignment with what you were designed, or born, to do.

When you are in alignment with your purpose, you become motivated and inspired. You are recognized for the talents you contribute at work. Because you’re doing what you love and what comes naturally to you, you experience greater happiness and well-being.

Align With Your Purpose to Be Happy in Your Career

Your purpose already exists. All it takes to find it is a willingness to discover and embrace some new ideas. You may have to let go of who you thought you “should be” or who someone else, maybe a parent or a teacher, wanted you to be for who you can become.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to discover your purpose is with unbiased guidance and support. For example, for the last nine years I have provided my clients a unique assessment that unearths their authentic purpose. I use it as the foundation for determining career paths and jobs that are in alignment with who my clients are, bringing them greater satisfaction and meaning in their work.

If you begin with an open mind, you can discover what kind of work will motivate you to want to go to work every day. Being inspired about the possibilities is the first step. Once you take the first step, inspired action leads you to the next step and the next one. Before you know it, you’ll be happy in a job because you’re doing what you were born to do.

(c) Linda Hardenstein, 2017 (Previously published on LinkedIn.)

Linda Hardenstein, MPA, PCC, is the Creator of the THRIVE Formula™. She’s been delivering proven strategies that help professionals find their authentic careers and succeed in the jobs they have since 2001. Contact her for your complimentary consultation or find out more at