Finding your life’s passion shouldn’t cost you a job
By Mina Movasseli
It has been normalized that if someone is going to be hired, they should show their commitment to working for the company for the next five to 10 years, minimum.
But in recent years — especially in tech companies — it has become popular to switch jobs every few years. So how can someone who is trying to figure out their passion and purpose outside of work prove that they can be a great candidate?
Well, first let’s clear up that finding your passion and purpose is not about figuring out your whole life. It’s more about trying to be self-aware so that you can do things that feel more aligned with what you like or what brings you joy.
This is not a destination but a process which one may have to revisit throughout their life as they continue to grow and gain wisdom.
It must be noted that this also is not about the enjoyment of things like drinking and partying, but about finding one’s self-identity through the decoding of conditioning that has happened throughout education, childhood trauma(s) and general upbringing.
New considerations for recruits
So why would a company want to encourage and hire someone who is trying to identify their passion or purpose and may leave their new company after two years?
Well, this candidate might have characteristics of someone who is trying to be a better version of themselves. This does not mean they are perfect — rather that they are trying to grow emotionally which results in behaviours with boundaries that they are working on.
Boundaries are a way to protect ourselves; it is an awareness of one’s capacity mentally, emotionally and physically — such as learning to stand up for oneself and not be a “people pleaser” in order to function at work, thus allowing one to show up as themselves rather than pretending to be someone else. But yes, it is a process that can take courage to complete.
Creating healthy workplaces
As a byproduct, this can create a healthy space — internally and externally — for themselves and inevitably the people around them who might want to do the same, as long as it is well received, of course.
This also has the effect of people feeling they are heard and seen at work by not suppressing who they are (which after many years of people doing so, we now know can make them feel confused and possibly lead to depression from the silencing of their true identity.)
And yes, companies with people who may not have these characteristics (yet) can do great work as well. But imagine when workers have the freedom to not be afraid to speak up? The mind will allow a bigger stream of creativity as more blood flows to certain areas of the brain.
Many of these people end up going within to discover themselves, but in that process they might also stumble upon yoga, meditation and mindfulness.
But what are the similarities of these and how does that further support hiring these candidates?
As we go within, we might start to listen more to our inner critic and confuse it with ourselves. But, if we have access to good mentors or information, we can see that those that relate to this experience usually promote mindfulness and meditation as a tool and habit throughout their journey, to identify thoughts and feelings and know when to release them.
People who practise mindfulness are able to acknowledge the feelings that arise within and try to understand where that feeling(s) is coming from, and if it is a pattern or negative critic that they should let go of or deal with. Yes, it is a process to get to this point of self-awareness, but it’s a tool that can help you with every aspect of your life.
Furthermore, the combination of boundaries and mindfulness of candidates who are trying to find their passion and/or purpose can be seen as a recipe for someone helping the company to not steer away from their values, allowing freedom in the workspace (leading to creativity), whilst reducing work exhaustion and increasing job satisfaction through their mindfulness practices.
This is important as many companies may not have the funds to be able to give allowances for yoga or mindfulness workshops, but if the employee already lives this type of lifestyle outside the company then it will be brought into the organization.
So, perhaps it is important to look at the resumes of people who are wanting to find their passion and/or purpose outside of work, and who have these characteristics and values, rather than looking at them as not committed.
If the company is uninterested in offering tools that help oneself to decompress mentally and doesn’t want to bring people into the organization that can help, then they shouldn’t be allowed to overwork and exhaust the mental resource of the employee and not take responsibility for their mind’s health.
Mina Movasseli is a behavioral scientist and founder of The Mindful Blueprint in Toronto.
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