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Choosing a meaningful career path: 3 questions to ask yourself

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:1

“I want to pursue a career that will ultimately leave me feeling purposeless,” said no one – ever. As a busy adult, you want to know that if you devote your precious time to something, you’ll get something substantial out of it. But how will you know which career path will honor your spiritual gifts? How can you make sure that your education will set you up to make a meaningful impact? Here are four questions that can help you identify your God-given gifts and find direction in your career:

#1: What did you play with as a child?

As a child, you probably didn’t put much thought into what you were going to do. You simply did what you loved doing. According to research from LEGO®, a child’s future career can start to be carved out early in life through play preferences. Future architects and business executives may prefer playing with construction toys; children with futures in caring and people professions – such as nursing, teaching, and recruitment – are most likely to favor dolls and action figures. What toys did you gravitate toward as a child?

#2: What do you like to do in your free time?

A career is not meant to be 100% enjoyable, 100% of the time. After all, it’s called “work” for a reason. However, it’s possible to enjoy work you’re passionate about. To uncover where your true passion lies, take 30 minutes in a quiet room. Bring a pen and pad of paper. Your goal is to write down 10 activities you enjoy doing. Don’t limit yourself. Is there a theme to your list? Do you like to help others? Feel energized when you’re competing? Work best by yourself? Like to travel? Not sure where your true passions lie? Here’s a great 5-minute assessment tool.

#3: What do you consider to be your spiritual gifts?

According to Andy Bilhorn, a contributor to Relevant magazine, Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 and Ephesians 4:7-12 tell us that spiritual gifts are intended to help us become our true selves. When we discover and embrace our spiritual gifts, we can use them in our careers to serve others, enjoy more personal and professional fulfillment, and delight God. Accept that God has a plan for you; show God that He can trust you by doing the work at hand well. Be open to new experiences. And most importantly, spend time alone with God praying on it.

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