4 principles to follow for a meaningful career 

How do you actually find meaning and purpose in your career? Start here Click To Tweet

We all aspire to find meaning and purpose in our careers, whatever our line of work maybe, but the question is how do you actually do that? I feel like somewhat of an expert on the topic having explored different fields of study from Physics to European studies. In addition to that, I have considered going into the business world but eventually ending up working in development.

I do feel that the work I do now is more in line with my long-term goal which is to work in the intersection of educational development and girls/women’s issues. Had I taken the time to ask myself some key questions years ago and really try to answer them based on a true understanding of my want, needs, and aspirations, I may have arrived at this finding a long time ago.

Through this post, I’d like to share with you some practical steps you can take to make sure that you don’t stay stuck in a career that’s not meant for you but rather you are empowered to find a career that allows you to do the things you genuinely care most about.

1. Define what “meaningful” looks like to you

Conventional wisdom may indicate that a meaningful and successful career is one that brings loads of money, recognition, and fame. And maybe that is true for some people, but is that true for you?

You need to take a moment of self-reflection and truly consider what a meaningful career looks like for you and how that fits into the context of a meaningful life.

Personally, when trying to decide what a meaningful career looked like, I tried to consider how my intended career weighed against the following factors: legacy, mastery, freedom, and alignment

Legacy

Look at the list of things you will have to achieve on this job and ask yourself if these are things you enjoy doing and can see yourself doing for an extended period of time. It’s not always going to be rainbows and roses, and so even on the mundane days, you have to ask yourself if you would be willing to stick it out).

Are you creative and like to think outside the box? Do you like to follow rules and preserve order? How well do you handle uncertainty? Do you like being told what to do or do you prefer to be left to your own devices most of the time? Are you good at convincing others to do things or do you prefer to let the numbers do the talking?

Will your career allow you achieve the things you want to professionally while allowing you to stay true to yourself?

Mastery

Make a list of all the things you know you kick-ass at and totally dominate. Are you a good writer, speaker, convener, motivator, team player, thinker?

Does the career you’ve chosen put you in a position where you can display your mastery of these skills? Are there other skills that you have a feeling that if given the opportunity to do so you could master easily? Would this career afford you that opportunity?

Does the career you’ve chosen put you in a position to display your mastery of your skills? Click To Tweet
Freedom

I think we all know intuitively what this means. Whatever career you choose, it’s going to come with some constraints i.e. salary, benefits, vacation days, perks, how much you get to travel etc.

When you imagine yourself living your best and freest life, what does this look like? Will this career allow you to achieve that vision of freedom that you have?

Alignment

When it comes to alignment, the question you have to ask yourself is whether your chosen career is in line with your personal values and the type of work culture that you value. This requires a bit of research and digging to find accounts from people who have worked there.

For instance, a company might be well-known for fostering creativity but also condoning a culture of misogyny (Uber anyone?). You need to be able to determine for yourself whether the culture that exists is one you see yourself fitting into seamlessly or whether it is one where you are willing to change to adapt to.

2. Think long term

Thanks to advances in modern medicine, people are living longer which means that for our generation, retirement age is probably going to increase. Chances are whatever career you do commit to you’re going to be in it for a long time.

So rather than thinking “What job do I want right now”, think “What life do I want 50 years from now”. And then find the career that fits into that. Find a career that you can see yourself doing 10, 20, 30 years from now. One that excites you and you feel will have room to allow you to grow in the direction of your long-term goals.

Think about the life you want 50 years from now and find a career that fits into that Click To Tweet

3. Be honest about your finances

One of the main reasons that people stay stuck in a job or career that they don’t love is because of money. Either the money is too good to leave or the money is so bad they can’t afford to leave. But know this, you deserve to find a career that you find meaningful and fulfilling.

So start today, start with what you have and create a “financial cushion” that will enable you to get started on that journey towards career bliss and psychological freedom. Make a budget and stick to it, give yourself a timeline, start exploring other opportunities and when the time is right, make your grand exit and follow your dreams.

4. Give time some time

No one likes to hear this, but things take time and as the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who’ve known what they wanted to be from birth or whose first business idea took off, chances are you’re going to spend some time going through ideas that fail and jobs that you don’t like or downright hate. Consider it all a learning process.

For every experience you’ve had, make time to think about it critically and consider what worked and what didn’t, what you loved and what you didn’t like, what you want to do more of and what you want to swear off completely.

Chances are you’re going to go through jobs that you don’t like or downright hate Click To Tweet

Talk to a lot of people, find people you trust and people you admire and ask them for advice and for their opinions. Keep searching and keep applying yourself and your efforts will be rewarded. Eventually, you will find yourself in a career that you love through dedication and perseverance, and when you’re there you will know that all the efforts and sacrifices you made to get there were worth it.

Do you have any thoughts regarding what it takes to find and pursue a meaningful career? Do you identify as one of those people who is living their dream life and following their passions? If so, let us know how you managed to figure out the “magic formula”.

The scramble to the top: 8 things overlooked in a fitness entrepreneur’s journey

People have to see to believe that you are capable of transforming fitness goals into a physical reality Click To Tweet

The hustle is real. Becoming a fitness entrepreneur may be one of the hardest career choices a person can make because of the required level of patience and discipline accorded to success in the fitness industry. People often overlook the journey of a fitness entrepreneur owing to the fact that they are not privy to the behind-the-scenes footage in their lives.

Most fitness entrepreneurs start out juggling their passion with another job in order to fund their lifestyle, gain experience and get professional certification. Here are eight considerations that are often overlooked in a fitness entrepreneur’s journey to career growth and stability:

1. Food and supplement expenses

A small fortune may be spent on food depending on fitness goals; weight loss, muscle gain or maintenance. Protein requirements vary per person depending on their body mass index and daily activity levels, so buying protein and multivitamins may be a major consideration.

Sometimes eating a balanced diet may dig a hole in your pocket but the results are totally worth it.

2. Blood, sweat, and tears

In order to stay relevant, you literally have to keep training. This could involve coming up with different challenges, hitting personal targets and diversifying your fitness regime to stay on top of your game.

A serious fitness entrepreneur trains at least five times a week and rests on other days.

3. Getting that perfect shot

It’s time to get into amateur modelling via social media. People have to see to believe that you are capable of transforming fitness goals into a physical reality. Sharing clear photos taken from a good camera is absolutely necessary to showcase your physique to a target audience of potential clients.

Early in one’s journey, a good camera phone may suffice but if you choose to engage your clients and audience through workout videos and short inspirational clips then investing in a professional camera will be worthwhile.

Building an army of loyal clients may take some time but requires consistent effort Click To Tweet

4. Client loyalty

Building an army of loyal clients may take some time but requires a show of consistent efforts on your part. Following through with a plan and holding yourself accountable for every bit of information shared on social media will build trust in potential clients and reinforce working relationships with existing clients.

Let’s face it, you have to lead by example; don’t expect your clients to be thrilled at their chicken salad dinner when you are actively sharing photos of Italian thin crust pepperoni pizza topped with extra cheese and a glass of South African wine.

5. Sponsorships

Becoming a sponsored athlete or fitness professional may not only be for the ‘elite’. You just need to position yourself to attract brands through social media and official websites. The companies that approach fitness professionals may not be in the fitness industry as they may be looking for an unexpected beauty icon or someone to drive their sales traffic.

Although it takes a while to get to this stage, doing what you love for photoshoots, working holidays and press briefings will give you a financial boost and expose you to greater opportunities.

6. Becoming a thought leader

Want to become the next Lita Lewis? Growing in your area of fitness expertise will allow you develop ideologies on a certain type of fitness goal or exercise. Trying and testing what worked for you in your fitness journey will spark peoples’ interest and increase your following.

This can be reinforced by testing your ideologies on yourself and a focus group to build credibility.

Maintaining relevance in the fitness industry can be likened to a product life cycle Click To Tweet

7. Competitions

Sports, physique or athletic competitions are great ways to advertise your personal brand, challenge your physical capabilities while escalating your career to a different level of professionalism.

Placing in a competition usually attracts endorsements from supplement and fitness apparel brands which may be in the form of money or free products in exchange for regular promotion and modelling.

8. Guest appearances

Making a name for yourself in the fitness industry requires you to actively network at fitness festivals and other related events. Popular fitness entrepreneurs may often have the chance to speak at health and wellness workshops or lead a corporate wellness event.

These appearances will ensure that your face becomes familiar to fitness enthusiasts and people that are just beginning their journey.

Maintaining relevance in the fitness industry can be likened to a product life cycle: a fitness entrepreneur will get to a stage that requires innovation to maintain steady growth. This phase is mentally and physically tasking but the benefits accrued are insurmountable.

Apart from growing in discipline and perfecting your time management skills, you get to be in the best shape of your life while turning your passion into profit! This career path may not be suitable for introverts or socially awkward people unless they are willing to grow in their confidence and interpersonal skills. Are you ready to step outside your comfort zone and embark on this journey?

Facebook Live with Adepeju Jaiyeoba: Finding a purpose and choosing a career path (May. 19)

Have you been asked many times what you want to be, or do with your life, and every time, your answer has been different, or you stutter?

When it comes to deciding on what career to face, some people get it right the first time, while others find themselves twirling and spinning, until they find a rhythm.

Join us for a Facebook Live session on Friday 19th May, with Adepeju Jaiyeoba – White House Emerging Global Entrepreneur and Founder of Mother’s Delivery Kit  and Brown Button Foundation. She’ll be talking extensively about finding your purpose and choosing a career path.

 Adepeju will be answering individual questions during the Facebook Live, so register below and ask your questions.

Join @pjlalah to discuss finding your purpose and choosing a career path on Facebook Live (19 May) Click To Tweet

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • Life after university: Your next steps
  • 7 ways to finding your purpose
  • Making the right professional and career decisions

Facebook Live Details:

Date: Friday 19th May 2017

Time: 1pm Lagos// 2pm Joburg// 3pm Nairobi

Where:  facebook.com/sheleadsafrica/

Watch video here:

She Leads Africa Facebook Live with Adepeju Jaiyeoba :Finding a purpose and choosing a career path (May 19).

Posted by She Leads Africa on Friday, May 19, 2017

About Adepeju

Adepeju Jaiyeoba is the Founder of ‘ Mother’s Delivery Kit ’ social venture which provides ultra affordable sterile supplies for women to use at childbirth while also increasing access to quality healthcare services, as well as Brown Button Foundation, an NGO which trains traditional birth attendants that takes more than 55% of child delivery in Nigeria.

Although she’s a graduate of Law, she has a strong background experience in global health with the United Nations Foundation and background knowledge in Business from the University of Texas, Austin USA.

Adepeju is a White House Emerging Global Entrepreneur honoured by President Barack Obama, and has been mentioned in the 2017 100 Most inspiring Women in Nigeria, She Leads Africa’s top 10 female entrepreneur for Diaspora Demo day, 2017 ONE African Champion, 2015 YNaija top 10 most influential Nigerians under 40 (Advocacy), and an acknowledged Global Change Leader by the Coady International Institute, Canada.

It’s time to stop comparing, ladies

She has so many likes on Facebook/Instagram…

We started this job together but she has left me behind…

O my God, did you see her wardrobe…

Everyone likes her, she is the life of the party…

She had a BellaNaija wedding, how will mine be…

The boss just praised her work again…

The cute guy I like has eyes for only her…

Just wait a second!

Why don’t you stop comparing, you have no idea of the back story.

Comparison may be human nature but we have to decide on whether it’s to be positive or negative. Positive comparison motivates us as well as our object of comparison to do well. Negative comparison, on the other hand, tries to hinge our happiness or progress on the object of our comparison.

This is absolutely dangerous and could affect our performance in everyday life. Did you know people only show what they want you to see? No one uploads selfies that don’t flatter them.

Why should you then get depressed because Bola is on vacation in Dubai? Why should you lose your appetite because Sefi got 500 likes and 30 shares on Facebook? Why should you feel like a loser because Joyce started a business and you are tied up in a job you hate? Why should you compare your behind-the-scenes with someone else’s highlights?

Thomas J. DeLong, a professor at Harvard Business School, noted a disturbing trend among his students and colleagues —a “comparison obsession.” He writes, “more so than ever before…business executives, Wall Street analysts, lawyers, doctors, and other professionals are obsessed with comparing their own achievements against those of others…This is bad for individuals and bad for companies. When you define success based on external rather than internal criteria, you diminish your satisfaction and commitment.”

So what can we do to stop this ugly trend?

Change the object of comparison

Start comparing yourself to yourself. Oh yes! Measure your today against your yesterday and your plan for your tomorrow. Did I just lose you? Hopefully not.

After measuring, if you do not like what you see then you know you need to get to work. One step at a time. However, if you do like what you see, keep on your grind as you are well on your way to greatness.

Understand we have different callings

Your calling might be teaching and another person, acting.  It is highly unfair to compare your teaching experiences and perks with that attached to acting. Doing this would only steal your joy and halt your progress.

Come on, we don’t want you unnecessarily depressed. Instead, use your time to engage in rewarding activities to boost your chosen career path.

Celebrate your accomplishments

You are unique and have a lot to offer your environment. Focus on that and celebrate how far you’ve come. Be genuinely happy for others and appreciate your own milestones. Gratitude for where you are on your journey would take you further.

Dear Motherland Moguls, instead of unhealthy competitions, let’s begin to empower one another. Starting today, redirect your thoughts and keep your eyes only on  your path.