Do you ever feel like you’re playing a part assigned to you, rather than living as your true self? That’s how it was for me after university – after many years (admittedly). A job that once had meaning became a paycheck, but little to no meaning.
Soon I was asking myself – where did the real me go? The one driven by passion, not just practicality. I missed the purpose and passion I felt back in the early days advocating for causes I cared about. Now I dread going to work and feel like a slave to the grind.
My experience is common these days. A number of articles highlight concerns among young workers driven by increased cost of living pressures, ongoing pandemic impacts like fatigue and blurred work-life boundaries, and shifting workplace dynamics such as hybrid models and decreased job security.
It’s no wonder young professionals often prioritize work stability over purpose early in their careers when facing these compounding stresses. But temporarily parking your passions comes at a cost. Research shows purpose fuels resilience, while feeling misaligned with your work takes a toll on mental health. Without meaning, cynicism and discontent grow.
Reclaiming Your Unique Calling
If you feel a gap between who you are and how you spend your days, you’re not alone. But remember – your aspirations still live within, waiting to be uncovered again. Here are some steps to help reignite purpose:
- Look back at what sparked joy and meaning before corporate ladders and retirement plans entered the picture. What legacy do you want to leave?
- Carve out time for self-exploration. Tuning out society’s scripts allows your inner wisdom to surface.
- Identify small steps that nudge you toward rediscovering your drive. Could volunteer work re-energize your passions?
- Seek supportive communities to inspire and ground you through the process of reclamation. You are not defined by your job title.
At Warm Pathways counseling, we help young professionals like you rewrite limiting narratives about your potential. With guidance, you can redefine success, reconnect with your deepest values, and integrate purpose back into your career journey. You have so much to offer this world – let’s help you uncover it.
The path ahead looks different for us all. But know you can reclaim the unique fulfillment you were created for. Your calling is ready to re-emerge, brighter than ever.
Carla Mascarenhas, Nov 24, 2023. ‘Dread waking up’: Australians rocked by workplace burnout. Retrieved from https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/dread-waking-up-australians-rocked-by-workplace-burnout/news-story/e5e31c2a3fd926ea49c05f6b6c650ea7#:~:text=Research%20from%20Allianz%20Australia%20suggests,burnout%20(33%20per%20cent).
Sarah Sharples. Sept 25, 2023. Australian workers suffer most burnout in world: Microsoft Work Trends Index. Retrieved from https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/at-work/australian-workers-suffer-most-burnout-in-world-microsoft-work-trends-index/news-story/b2e047251cf1009b57c9de4b3d30f95f
Eli Green. Sept 25, 2023. Cost of living and burnout pressuring 1.4 million Australians to quit their job. Retrieved from https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/mental-health/cost-of-living-and-burnout-pressuring-14-million-australians-to-quit-their-job/news-story/9cfd399aad3b77212ce2d0c2ff0424d0
Frank Chung. Dec 11, 2023. Aussies facing ‘extreme’ cost-of-living pressure. Retrieved from https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/costs/aussies-facing-extreme-costofliving-pressure/news-story/f9ff01e9d9a7f09641e02ac5106f8d1e