My professional leg on my 3 legged stool has been out of whack for a long, long time. I let my job take over my life for about 3 years – those are 3 very important years that I can never have back. But I’ve learned that I have to be very careful in managing my professional life so that it’s in line with my personal and spiritual life.
I had a wonderful job for about 23 years working in the legal industry. I loved being a paralegal and a Human Resources Director, but ultimately I was working for someone else (a lot of people actually) and was very fortunate to be paid very very well. I wasn’t passionate about what I was doing and when I left work each day, I left work at work. It was not my life, it was my job. I enjoyed my social life at work and enjoyed being paid well, but I felt like something was missing. I didn’t have any real passion in my life.
In graduate school my professors challenged me constantly about being stuck in my comfort zone working in the legal industry and they pushed me to dig deep in hopes that I could find my passion and tie what knowledge I had gained during grad school with that passion.
One day I quit my job – it was the right time. I realized that I was working for money and that I was bored. I did consulting work for a while and I enjoyed that to an extent, but I still wasn’t excited about what I was doing for a living.
I decided that I would volunteer time with a local nonprofit and that is where I fell in love with a career. I was working to raise money to support this wonderful nonprofit that focused on serving young, disadvantaged children. It’s funny, once I realized what I really wanted to do for a living things fell into place and I became the Executive Director of a nonprofit preschool that served poverty level children living in a very low-income area of my city.
There is nothing wrong with having a job to support you and your family. Looking back at that time, I had other things going on in my life that provided me a sense of satisfaction. I was just coasting along – I was happy, but there was something missing in my life.
Later my professional life took over everything and I was very unhappy and frustrated. More on that another day …
Do you have a job or a career? Does it matter to you? Are you fulfilled in the three most important areas of your life? Is your personal life, professional life, and spiritual life balanced? I hope they are, but if they are not – stay tuned for more.