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What Is My Purpose? Doing Something Different in 2021

Seven out of 10 women who experienced negative shifts in their routine as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic believe their career progression will slow down.

Deloitte global survey of 400 working women across nine countries

 

Ouch.

To say the pandemic has disproportionately affected women is a massive understatement, with working women of color taking the greatest hit.

We know that women also take on the majority of unpaid-care—a whopping 75%—“including child care, caring for the elderly, cooking, and cleaning.” While the relatable memes and social posts might be good for a laugh-cry,  the emotional and physical toll is frankly exhausting:

Jess Carpenter on IG: "Can't wait to homeschool my kid while working from home while trying to eat healthy while avoiding the coronavirus while trying to keep sane while keeping up with the news while getting five minutes to myself while cleaning the house while writing a book while being a mom."Careers, priorities, and values are shifting during this difficult time. Many women are rethinking what they want and need from work. If you’re one of them, and you want to find your purpose in 2021, keep reading.

 

Finding my purpose in 2021: Why it’s important

Feeling lost, stuck, or directionless is something everyone goes through at some point. That’s just life. But if you’re feeling these feelings even more so now? You’re not alone. Finding your purpose—or reconnecting with what’s meaningful to you—can make a difference.

So often, purpose and work are intertwined, as Amy Bernstein describes:

For those of us whose sense of self is inextricably tied up in our work, not working can strike an existential blow. As the sociologist Aliya Hamid Rao has written, “Employment, or the lack thereof, has become an intrinsic marker of a person’s moral worth.”

Separating who we are from what we do isn’t easy. So how do we find purpose in our careers in a healthy way? And how do we get there when we’re feeling stuck? The solution might come from hardship. While not everyone will have the ability, the losses of the past year can be used to help women move forward:

Similarly, in her research Dr. Rao has identified resilience and determination in many of the women who have suffered job losses. “It forces women to rethink how they want to get back into the labor force,” she told me. “They think about getting back in on their own terms: ‘I’d rather have more control over what I do. Maybe I’ll open a private practice or become a consultant and work for myself.’ ”

And that ownership is freeing.

Of course, finding purpose through your work is only one way to create a more meaningful life.

The people at Beyond Blue—a mental health organization based in Australia—say that having a sense of purpose can help you: 

    • Develop the drive to persevere even during difficult times
    • See your current circumstances in a more positive light
    • Recognize that your life has meaning and value even if you don’t achieve certain goals
    • Refocus during hard times so you can find ways to move forward and enjoy your life

Finding your purpose in 2021 can help you go after your personal and professional goals with new optimism and energy.

 

How to find purpose in your life in the new year

Finding your purpose involves getting to know yourself better. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s important to us after hard times. And when there’s so much going on, it’s tempting to shut down. The increase in Netflix subscriptions (28 million new members) and the amount of TV we watched last year (up to eight hours a day) shows that many of us were looking for an escape.

Besides damaging our bodies, vegetating in front of the TV for hours a day can make us feel depressed and lose sight of what we want to (and can!) achieve.

Here are some tips that can help you find your purpose in 2021. 

 

1. Take time to reflect 

Asking yourself some questions and taking the time to carefully think about them (as opposed to simply writing down the first thing that comes to mind) will help you clarify what you really want in the new year.

Here are some questions that can help: 

    • When you think about your life, how do you feel? 
    • How do you want to feel in 2021? 
    • What does a sense of purpose mean to you? 
    • When you think about purpose, what things come to mind? 

Let’s look at some examples. 

If a sense of purpose means experiencing pleasure or security, what comes to mind when you think of those things? 

Some people will think of family, health, financial stability, comfort, and laughter. Others might consider qualities that they respect in themselves and others—like honesty, respect, compassion, and generosity. Reflecting on what’s important to you will help you figure out your goals and create a plan to achieve them.

 

2. Work with others

Constantly trying to do things on your own can amplify negative feelings. Often, the person we’re the hardest on is ourselves. 

Working with other people can add valuable social interaction into your life. If you’re an extroverted person, you know that collaborating with others gives you energy; and even for an introvert, being on your own too much can zap your energy and make you feel isolated. 

Working with others doesn’t mean you have to physically work with them every day. Simply getting together (even via Zoom) can fulfill the personal connection you crave.

 

3. Be patient 

Transformation takes time. You’re not going to wake up tomorrow automatically living a new life simply because you set the intention. 

Instead, it’s going to take time and effort—and that’s a good thing. It allows you to see if the decisions you’ve made are really what you want and need in 2021. 

For instance, let’s say you’ve decided to start a side-hustle, but you realize that you don’t like working remotely or you aren’t aligned with the company. Being patient means you’ll give yourself time to recognize when something isn’t working, as well as the opportunity to make adjustments along the way. When you do that, you’ll be happier and feel like you’re truly living for your purpose. 

 

Can a side-gig really add meaning to your life?

Starting a part-time work-from-home business can help leverage your passions in new way, and supplemental income can provide added financial security during the unexpected. A flexible schedule allows you to pursue other interests, helping you establish a healthy work-life balance.

At Vector, we believe in honesty and empathy. We’re a company that prioritizes people and can help you start a side-business you’re proud of.

 

Ready to get started with social selling? We can help

We provide the training and resources you need to create a successful work-from-home business. If you’re ready to get started, we’re ready to help.

Curious if a side gig with Vector Marketing will help you find your purpose in 2021? Contact us to request an interview.