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Discovering What You’re Meant to Do

How do you excel in the workplace? You do work that you love.

I spent seven years of my career in an atmosphere that nearly killed me. I was working in corporate America. Although I did enjoy the work at times, I did not thrive in the required long hours, the cut throat mentality, and the constant barrage of blame and shame when something went wrong. I remember thinking at one time, what does anyone get out of working in such a hostile environment? As much as I tried to make excuses or understand the experience in a different perspective, I just couldn’t get it.

Did I learn anything from my time there? Of course. I learned how to manage corporate books, saw financial statements come together; learned how to audit departments: everything I had graduated with an MBA for, but I wasn’t sincerely happy. Sure, there were the employee motivation parties, the free lunches, excursions to the latest entertainment sites to build rapport among coworkers, but it wasn’t enough for me.

So I moved on to work for myself. I started blogging, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Then I decided to teach women how to manage their money, and I loved that. But going at it alone was tough, and frankly money management is not a career for the faint of heart or anyone’s idea of a partnership goal, especially when you’re trying to earn an income. So I started volunteering, working with women entrepreneurs from Africa and Asia, kept at it with my individual pursuits – until I couldn’t.

At this point, I knew I wanted to work in business, help other women build their own businesses or launch their careers. I knew that helping others reach their goals uplifted my spirits, but I wasn’t sure where to go with it all. Thankfully, the pandemic hit and everything closed down, and I found myself feeling vulnerable and alone as I tried to create a future I could love. The isolation gave me a chance to find myself. Once the sequestering was over, I started searching for jobs until I came across a company I had volunteered with at one time. The position would require me to economically empower other women. I applied for the position, got it and couldn’t have been happier.

I’ve come full circle. Started doing what I loved, led to a place I didn’t, and then found myself somewhere that makes me happy. And I’m a better person for it, although it wasn’t easy. In fact, it was one hell of a gut-wrenching learning experience. Along the way, I learned more about myself and what I wanted in life. And it wasn’t trampling over fellow coworkers for the next promotion or kissing up to leadership for acceptance. What I had wanted all along was an atmosphere where there was constant collaboration among all colleagues toward the company’s mission to empower women and eliminate racism.

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