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My Purpose For Work

I spent last week attending a graduation in the Midwest University, where my nephew became a fourth-generation graduate. I asked him about his plans after school, and he replied, "I'm unsure. I want to take time to find something I like." My initial thought was, "You need to get your act together; life is expensive!" However, I paused and reflected on my experience before sharing that sentiment. I considered my recent career change and how the pandemic allowed me to restructure my professional direction. I took a year off and spent time reflecting on what I do best and why I still want and need to work. Why shouldn’t he have the same opportunity to explore and find his path?

Kyle Westaway could not of stated this better in his recent Weekend Briefing No. 536, "I now realize that seeking a single, defined "purpose" isn't right for everyone and can lead to disappointment. Instead, focus on finding meaning by considering what you enjoy doing, what you're good at, and whether a role provides opportunities for growth and learning. Identifying your preferences, skills and areas for improvement is a better starting point for a meaningful career. Research shows that "ability development," or getting better at what you do, brings greater happiness, satisfaction and meaning.

Kyle Westaway is the cofounder of a law firm that helps startups move fast without breaking things publishing weekly Friday and Saturday Briefings. In his recent Weekend Briefing No. 536, he wrote about Meaning-Purpose at Work. His writing came from reading a Harvard Business Review article written by Steven Friedman. The gist of the article states, "Outside of popular anecdotes and social media stories, there is little evidence that a single, defined “purpose” is necessary for a rewarding career. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. It’s surprisingly common to go after what we think is our purpose only to discover that we hate it. Instead, shift your focus from “purpose” to “meaning".

What Am I Good At?

Throughout my 43 years in the field of education, I have discovered a unifying thread that has intricately woven itself into every role I've undertaken. This thread is the profound commitment to empowering individuals to deepen their knowledge and transform that understanding into impactful action within their respective fields. Whether I was a classroom teacher, an administrator, or a consultant, this mission of fostering growth and facilitating real-world application has been the constant, driving force behind my work. This dedication not only enhances personal and professional development but also contributes to the broader tapestry of educational excellence and innovation.

Steven Friedman, states that "Research has shown that doing what you are good at and using your developing strengths at work is associated with greater meaningfulness. Feeling happy and fulfilled at work ultimately relies on working toward a meaningful career. While the concept of purpose focuses on identifying a life goal, meaning is more about knowing the nature of your work that matters to you or others.

What led me to my new career as an international consultant and teacher trainer? I was fortunate to have a year to reflect and engage in conversations with many of my colleagues and mentors. As we evolve in the workplace, our experiences, skills, needs, and goals change. Earning my doctoral degree and gaining international leadership experiences provided me with the wisdom to understand the world and myself better. I became an astute listener, reflected deeply, thought outside the box, and took risks, knowing that these qualities were essential for growth and success.

I found that I enjoy reading, writing, and researching the latest trends in leadership development, organizational behavior, career development for classroom teachers, human resource management, workplace inclusion, and mental health. This passion for continuous learning has fueled my dedication to staying current with cutting-edge practices and theories. It allows me to provide informed and effective guidance to educators and administrators worldwide. Additionally, exploring these areas helps me to create comprehensive training programs and resources that address the multifaceted challenges faced by today's educational institutions.

Ever wish of having invaluable insights and support while embarking on the journey of first time leadership, or perhaps academic training to open a founding school? Look no further! International Educational Consultants brings years of extensive experience in higher education, private, public, and international schools, along with a vast network of experienced colleagues, to work directly with you.

Contact Dr. McFarland at International Educational Consultants to leverage her expertise in addressing your leadership training, mentoring, school policy, startup school queries, or just overcoming challenges of day to day operations. We offer Webinar training sessions, idea-sharing, attentive listening, and face to face workshops. Connect today with International Educational Consultants.

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