BY SASHENKA PAATZ
Three successful business women spoke in front of a room of about 70 young women to help them find their life’s vocation.
“Probably this is a point in your life where you’re like, ‘What am I doing? What am I doing with school? What am I taking? What am I going to do with my life? What am I called to be?’ ” said Doreen Abraham, a 24-year-old in ministry leadership at LIFT church.
Students often get caught up in these questions thinking their answers will come in the form of a career that will guide them through the rest of their life. This is not often the case.
“The ‘what’ will change over the course of your life, but the ‘why’ is intrinsic to who you are,” said Christal Earle, 43, who spoke at Unveiled and is also the founder of a social venture called Brave Soles.
Careers and interests inevitably shift. About 43 per cent of university students in Canada drop out of their programs and 69 per cent of all college students drop out as well, according to Statistics Canada. Less than half of these student go back to college or university to take part in another program.
Earle explained that finding your purpose is not just about finding something that you are good at, but finding something that you are passionate about.
A passion is not necessarily for a particular field of work. Passion can be for an idea, issue or concept, she explained. For Earle, this passion only revealed itself when she moved to the Dominican Republic and started working with people living on less than $2 a day.
“There has always been a passion within me for social change,” says Earle. “I knew that I couldn’t not do that because it made me feel alive, and those people are now my family and my friends.”
When a passion is not established, direction towards a particular career path can be hazy.
“I’ve had an interesting, topsy turvy journey in my career, finally coming to find my company now,” said 29-year-old Octavia Ramirez, another Unveiled speaker who is also the CEO of a financial coaching company for millennials called Paper and Coin.
Ramirez explained that a passion does not always just appear to a person. Often it takes effort to find purpose and apply it in a career.
Ramirez originally started her journey in the medical field and planned on becoming a doctor. She only realized the importance of purpose midway through the process.
“My heart was just not in it and that is the scariest point when you’ve studied for four years plus high school, done all your volunteer work and all your work related to healthcare,” said Ramirez.
It is up to an individual to try new things and seek help when something does not work out. Unfortunately, many students do not seek assistance for finding what career is best for them even though there are many tools available.
It is also up to that individual to distinguish between their life’s purpose and their career.
“You don’t need to be identified with doing a certain thing or having a certain business or career. You can embrace the beauty of what life is actually going to be about for you,” said Earle.