Aligning Your Professional Path with Your Life Purpose
When I started out in my career as a User Experience Designer & Researcher I knew in my heart I had discovered my passion for innovation.
The field itself was still in its inception.
The emerging niche role was at the time barely recognized within the product teams of most companies.
Yet, the natural course at that stage in my life was to pursue what gave me a sense of purpose, as well as passion.
My “why” of what drives would evolve over the years.
At the core (providing structure) what gave me a sense of purpose fundamentally appeared to remain the same.
However, over the years, I had changed.
I had grown emotionally.
I had embarked on a personal spiritual journey.
This journey helped me develop clarity on my core values. And I had gained the courage to embrace my “Sage Archetype”.
My Sage Archetype
During my meditation certification training, we delved into the concept of Archetypes.
Archetype is defined as, “a collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., universally present in individual psyches.” (dictionary.com).
Generally speaking, there are various types of archetypes – caregiver, healer, muse, poet, rebel, scholar, servant, visionary, and artist to name a few. In the article, Understanding Personality: The 12 Jungian Archetypes, the author explains the 12 archetypal character models, which are innate, universal, and hereditary, serving the function to organize how we embrace our roles in life.
When I pursued my meditation coaching, I initially thought what I was going to do with my training is mentor others in meditation.
The coaching element, however, is what surprised me.
In this training, I developed coaching skills that piqued my interest to expand my business to support others through holistic wellness coaching.
Around this time I came across career development researcher, Warren Frehse’s work in applying Carl Jung’s archetypes to one’s career journey. Frehse breaks down a typical career journey into four stages, with each stage mapping to specific archetypes.
Four Types of Career Archetypes
Author, Warren Frehse outlines four stages of the career journey.
Stage One: The Athlete
- The early stages of a career often are defined by active discovery, similar to that of an athlete. With the mindset of an apprentice early in my career, I was open to learning. Curious. Continually eager to refine my skills.
Stage Two: The Warrior
- The Warrior archetype may emerge in the next stage of one’s career. This stage in my corporate years was marked by taking action to pursue the “next level” in many areas including mastery of my skills, promotions, and seeking financial compensation that matched my experience and qualifications. Constantly challenging the status quo.
Stage Three: The Statesman
- In the Statesman stage of one’s career, there is a mindset shift from “what can I get” to “what can I give”. This stage triggered a stirring in me to understand how my role can have a broader impact. I felt an inner tug of war, as I recognized that I had a passion for my work, and while I still had ambitions to grow professionally, I felt a deeper calling.
Stage Four: The Sage
- The fourth stage of one’s career often arrives at the tail end of one’s career journey. Warren Frehse describes this archetype as one that is wise, free of ego, and capable of engaging with various types of people with equanimity. Many of the qualities of this stage are about supporting others, which really resonates with me. For example, I enjoy contributing to society by sharing wisdom from lessons I’ve learned through my blog and workshops; I find joy in engaging with others by sharing their stories on my podcast, and I enjoy mentoring and coaching other midlife moms navigate their professional path.
“When you connect to the True Self inside of you, it’s the end of trying to desperately cling to fleeting surface confidence. You know that the light is working through you and coming through you in a completely unique way.” – Kimberly Snyder, author of “You Are More Than You Think You Are: Practical Enlightenment for Everyday Life.”
Through my study of these career archetypes, I realized that I was ready for a vocation that allows me to connect my soul with my professional role. While I had for years been more of an Innovator Archetype, I could see that as a Holistic Wellness Coach I was growing into the role of a Save Archetype.
I recognized that as a coach my natural traits or tendencies were that of someone who found value in serving, based on wisdom.
Through this process, I realized that I had discovered my authentic self.
“When we align our persona as closely as possible with our true self, we can step into our power big-time” – Leslie Ehm, author of Swagger: Unleash everything you are and become everything you want.
At my current stage in my life, I am embracing the Sage Archetype, while building on my more innovator-type persona which tends to be curious, a problem solver, and analytical.
It’s more than a transitional shift from one Archetype to another. All of us likely have traits of different types of archetypes.
Innovation as a designer and researcher comes naturally to me.
However, in my 2nd Act when I am coaching others, I feel like I am really in my element. Intuitively I’m able to support others. The wisdom I offer flows to me, and through me, naturally.
Recognizing Your 2nd Act
If you are seeking to validate if the path you would like to be on is indeed your next calling or 2nd Act, consider if the concept of “flow” feels natural when you authentically take action to manifest your 2nd Act.
Fill in the sentences, “I know I’m authentically living my 2nd Act as I notice ‘flow state’ feels more natural the more I am able to ____”.
Flow state feels more natural:
- The more I am able to be myself
- The more I am able to get out of my own way
- The more I am able to trust myself
- The more I am able to offer my gifts without inhibitions of labels or tiles
- The more I am able to get past my imposter syndrome hang-ups
The key is to cultivate the type of swagger that allows you to authentically recognize the flow, and confidently overcome your own phycological blocks.
Unleashing your 2nd Act with Swagger
A year before I pursued my meditation certification I had been researching different niche spaces where I could broaden my skills. I wanted to expand beyond what I had practiced for over 20 years in the corporate world.
I needed time to process what it meant to believe that the world indeed needed my gifts. More importantly, I needed to really feel confident by fully embodying the persona of my 2nd Act.
Your 2nd Act isn’t just about discovering what role you are ready to pursue.
And your 2nd Act isn’t about just embracing that role.
Your 2nd Act is about unleashing your role with a swagger.
So what does the 2nd Act have to do with Swagger?
I am not talking about the false confidence kind of swagger. This is the kind of confidence that is masked in insecurity. And worse this is the kind of confidence that limits YOU to thinking you are the ego – the pseudo-self.
This type of confidence puts weight on the fickle material stuff of the world, and the shallow labels of the world.
To confidently unleash your 2nd Act persona into this world means to first realize you are not that label – a mompreneur, a podcaster, a sommelier, or a fashion designer.
Recognize that you are your True Self.
When you authentically arrive in a space where your daily intentions, words, actions, and internal beliefs reflect on the outside what you are on the inside, that my friend is a true embodiment of your archetype or persona.
This embodiment is true confidence.
“Embodiment means you are giving form to all great things inside you, those things that often are hidden by all the junk, baggage, old hurts, misunderstandings, and pain that you might be carrying inside of you.” – Kimberly Snyder, author of “You Are More Than You Think You Are: Practical Enlightenment for Everyday Life.”
This kind of swagger, not only shines out to the world the real you, but it also shows up with deep humility and kindness.
When I think of this kind of swagger, I imagine a white peacock fanning its feathers. The swagger of this animal is grounded in the type of confidence that is authentic, rooted in spiritual wisdom, with quiet humility, and capable of being immensely kind.
Tips to Unleash Your 2nd Act with Swagger
- Acknowledge your True Self – meaning, fully connect with the real you with the divine spark
- Authentically embody the essence of your archetype – meaning, let your intentions, words, and actions, be aligned so that what is in you on the inside resonates on the outside.
- Act with humility and kindness
Build Your 2nd Act on a Foundation
As a mompreneur, we are constantly challenged with feelings of overwhelm and guilt. Trust me, I know
You’ll feel stretched and pulled in so many directions from the moment you start your day.
So, that is why you build your personal and professional life on a foundation.
My foundation is designed to include a structured routine with a consistent meditation practice. This practice is your commitment to connecting to your Inner Self. This practice is your accountability buddy so that your outer self authentically reflects your inner self. This practice is your stairway to inner stillness where you’ll find solutions.
I recall when my meditation practice felt like a wellspring for flow. I had been carving out time each morning to sit in meditation. Some mornings were restless, but the more I stayed present with the practice, the more I felt deep stillness. When I’d transition out of my practice I noticed both calmness and a feeling of clarity. Through this clarity, I often received “downloads” of ideas pop into my head as creative solutions to build various facets of my business.
Through small consistent effort, over time, you’ll notice the shifts. These shifts will manifest not only in terms of calmness and clarity but also in how centered you feel as you serve others through your 2nd Act.
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