Coaching from Life On Purpose: Stuck in a Job Too Small for Her Spirit

Here's the latest request for coaching from


My education and work backgrounds are social work and education, and am currently working as an administrator. My job has gone from people-oriented to paperwork-oriented, which is far from my natural skills, abilities and interests. I am losing hope of finding my life purpose as I face each day of 1162mundane, brain-numbing activities. I want to know what career path to pursue, that fits my purpose.  
My talents are with people, and I can see things other people don't-each person's unique skills and talents. An example is of someone i worked with, a kid who others were fed up with. I found his strength and put it to use. He appreciated me for it. My gift is inspiring, motivating, empowering people to believe in themselves. 
I am passionate about freedom and equality and fight against racism, sexism, and other isms.
I am charismatic, and people fascinate me. I am an extrovert- honest, yet diplomatic, firm yet compassionate. I am asked to mediate tough conversations because I can communicate based on each person's needs. I care about people's feelings. 
I am a risk-taker, adventurous, and constantly have good ideas, but have problems following through. I'm good at creating new ways of doing things, have great ideas, and always focus on the possibilities, but dislike strict rules, boredom, bureacracy and details. People are naturally drawn to me, and I am able to relate to any person in any situation. I see what connects us. 
I believe everything happens for a reason. My career no longer gives my life meaning and purpose, and I have no passion for what I do. I am a passionate person who needs to do what I love, to use my greatest skills, talents, and creativity to contribute to the world. In  my experience, our greatest skills and strengths bring us the most joy and fulfillment, and I hope to use my gifts to help others. Time is passing so fast, and part of me is thankful to have a job right now, but I have to ask if there is more to life than this!


I can see a theme emerging in this first week of these coaching requests, which I guess isn't too surprising given the topic is clarifying one's purpose. <G>

The theme I'm speaking about is the recommendation of shifting one's perspective regarding how we typically view the idea of a life purpose from the common / cultural theme that says our life purpose is what we DO (which often leads one to think of their job or career as their life purpose or some significant role like being a parent, or provider, or good member of a family) and shifting instead to viewing a life purpose as who one is as a spiritual being and what we came to this life to be and experience.

So regarding: "I want to know what career path to pursue, that fits my purpose," I recommend you start by discerning what your life purpose is first, then allow it to shape how you choose to express that purpose.

For example, my life purpose is to live a purposeful, passionate and playful life of service, a life of mindful abundance balanced with simplicity and a life of spiritual serenity.  And knowing this I choose to express these qualities of being in my work as a coach, writer, speaker, but also it's what shapes my role as a parent, and even as a volleyball player at the local YMCA.

The good news is that you've done some great 'inner work' to discern many of the qualities you process.  I'll list the ones that stood out in your message:

inspiring, motivating, empowering (simply change to inspiration, motivation, empowerment)
freedom and equality
charismatic,  honest, diplomatic, compassionate
adventurous, and constantly have good ideas (equates to me as creative)

There are no doubt more but that's a good start.  These could be the essence of a life purpose statement that you could live from and into. 

You might want to experiment with these a bit and plug them into a simple format of –  A life on purpose is a _____ life of ______, _______, and ______.  And each blank can have more than one word as long as the words are either nouns or adjectives and not verbs (to avoid having your life purpose statement contain more doing than being, which would turn it into a mission statement instead of a life purpose statement.)

Now, here's the last and perhaps toughest part.  Once you have a working life purpose statement that inspires you and calls you to be in the world, see if you can start 'pouring' your current position into that context and use your current position to practice living true to your life purpose.

You don't have to stay in the position forever but the more you can see that you COULD stay there and still live true to your life purpose, the more freedom you will have to move on to something else.

You see this is the erroneous thinking so many people fall into:

"My career no longer gives my life meaning and purpose." 

You're right it doesn't, and really never did.  We bring meaning and purpose to our work, not the other way around.  Does that mean your current work is right 'in the center of the beam' of your life purpose?  No, probably not. But as you get clearer what your purpose is and begin to 'test drive' living true to it, your current position will be a good place to practice living and expressing your purpose.

You may also find these resources about the Life On Purpose Perspective of interest and value to you.

And also this video at related to this.

Hang in there. You're asking the right questions, which is half the battle. As a recent article I read said, " Asking the right questions determines our quality of life."  Check it out.