What's work anyway?
Aside from thoroughly enjoying listening to Doreen, I had learned quite a number of things from this conversation. Here are my top 3 favorite.
1. Forget about the career path you “should” have
A lot of us go through college and careers constantly thinking about thinking “what’s next” and forming answers to that question based on what is aligned to what we’re studying or the field we are currently working in. This is great if what you are studying or doing fires you up and interests you. For the majority (myself included), however, we find ourselves studying programs that don’t interest us all that much or in jobs that we like--but we make decisions in that direction regardless. We then create these paths that aren’t based on what we really want, but rather based on what is conveniently available. But because of point number 2, we should reconsider and make better decisions.
2. The gratification from being in the right place, professionally, is difficult to top. The chase to getting to that place is very much worth the effort
Doreen’s happiness about where she is professionally is contagious and easily detectable. But perhaps more important than that happiness is what it translates to in her work. It translates to a tenacity, the ability to apply herself fully to her work, a bettered ability to solve problems, and a clarity to the decisions she makes on a professional level.
I think this speaks to just how much worth the effort and sacrifices the journey is. At the right place, work ceases to be “work” and instead becomes an extension of your identity.
3. A lot of us probably already know what we value and in that case, we are well on our way
I think this episode (and the slew of research supporting the hypothesis) further remind us the fact that it is a great idea to pursue a career that is aligned to your values. Doreen clearly illustrates the ways in which her values guide her career on a day to day. It is this passion she feels about the cause she’s working towards that empowers her decisions and motivates her to bring her whole self to work. And perhaps you are thinking “that’s great, but it’s unrealistic that I will enjoy the same luxuries of a value-led career.” To that I say - you probably already know what you are passionate about and you have a bonus advantage of being in East Africa where opportunities to innovate and explore are abundant.
Doreen's Book Reccommendation
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