Finding the purpose (ful) you

If you, like me have followed the SPECTRA sessions all through, amongst the many common themes and threads cutting across geographies, you would have found the word ‘purpose’ reoccurring at regular intervals. For me, it was definitely the key propeller to triumph over the pandemic and move ahead in 2021. 

‘Corporate purpose will be key in PR interventions’ – Nitin Mantri, Group CEO, AvianWE

‘Communicators can use purpose to say powerful stories. It is our ammunition!’ – Andy Pharoah, Corporate Affairs Lead, Mars

An organisation’s purpose is often defined by its mission and vision statements. It is a statement that reflects the organisational values and culture and is also a tool to gauge employee engagement. The purpose also outlines the positive societal impact the business will have. Business strategies thereby get evolved around purpose and year-on-year, CEOs work to uphold the values enshrined by the purpose. 

But this is about the organisation’s purpose. What about yours?

Have you ever reflected on what your life purpose is? Why do you do what you are doing? What makes you stay in the job that you are in? What drives you? What gives you the maximum joy? How do you even find your purpose?

Why don’t you begin by listing down your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing the most? Make a list. Look at them. What leaps to the eye? Your hobbies hold a link to your purpose. I remember when I was a schoolgirl and a voracious reader, I would dream of opening a children’s library! I wanted to be surrounded with books and books and more books! Later, my college librarian introduced me to the Dewey Decimal system of classifying books – it intrigued me so much that I even applied for a Master’s in Library Science! A clear case of my love for books driving my career choices and dreams!

Another way of figuring out your purpose is to scan your social media profiles. What do you respond to? What issues do you read up? Who are the people you follow? Which field entices you? Is it politics or is it entertainment? Are you a sports buff? Is science your cup of tea? Your social media profile is a mirror to your thoughts and soul. Study the pattern and you will see a clear picture emerging.

A third way would be to assess the causes you are associated with. It could be girl child or education or mental wellbeing. The causes and issues that you identify with tells a lot about the kind of person you are. Let your compassion and heart guide you in finding your purpose and the right profession wherein you can live your purpose on a day-to-day basis. 

I missed out on having a mentor early in life. If you get an opportunity to be mentored or have access to a coach, seize the moment! Mentors can provide guidance and options. They are able to draw on their experiences and expertise and guide you to a path you may have not thought of. A coach can make you look within your own self and help you find your goalpost. It will make you more aware of your strengths and direct you to your future prospects. 

A job that draws on your strengths and provides you with new learnings is a dream job. Finding that purpose (ful) driven job is not difficult if you set your mind to it. 

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarita Bahl
Country Group Head CSR at Bayer - South Asia
Sarita Bahl leads the Corporate Social Responsibility function for Bayer South Asia and is also the Director – Bayer Prayas Association. Prior to this, she successfully oversaw the communications and public affairs function for Bayer South Asia. Over her three decades of professional experience, Sarita has held multiple roles across diverse industries, public sector, trade associations, MNCs and the Not-for-profit sector. An alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Science and the Swedish Institute of Management Program, Sarita specializes in stakeholder engagement, sustainability and communications. She is passionate about animals (is mother to a female cat), books and movies.

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