A Job With Purpose is More than a Job

Once upon a time, I enrolled in an MBA program.  Knowing I had to support myself, I figured a job in accounting would be a safe bet.  Far from exciting, businesses always needed accountants.  I thought public accounting would be my calling and was hired by one of the large international firms.  It was truly a grueling experience having to work with a stop watch beside me. The stress was unbearable.

Then, I escaped the frying pan and tried out corporate accounting. The stress was far less but the work was monotous with routine tasks month after month after month.  My next stop was the corporate treasury field and it was certainly more fun.  I could measure my performance by how well I did in the markets. Every day was different.  Over the years, I always found the work  challenging and it was anything but routine. Boredom was not part of my vocabulary.

However, something was always missing.  A job well-done was good for the boss and the company.  It improved the corporate bottomline.  But that was it and nothing more.

I reached a point when I realized I needed a career with purpose.  What was so terrific about climbing the corporate ladder anyway?    Luckily, I met a neighbor who was attending a graduate library program at the University of Denver.  Alas,  I found an opportunity to be a do-gooder.  Afterall, who doesn’t like a librarian? 

So, I took the plunge.  I took a part-time position in a medical library and returned to school.  Helping physicians indirectly help their patients proved to be highly rewarding and plus, school was fun. Following graduation, I found myself in a public library setting where I still am today.

With my business education and experience, I am helping small business owners  grow their businesses and job seekers learn about the many resources we have to find  jobs.   No amount of money could substitute for the reward of helping others and contributing to the betterment of the community.

So, here is the moral of my saga:  If you are seeking a new career, consider working with people in a social service environment.  Sure, the dollars could be less than in the corporate world, but your feeling of personal fulfillment could be so much greater.


About suzanne kaller

Business Librarian at Arapahoe Library District in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado. Engaged in business outreach and general reference serv

Posted on February 2, 2010, in Jobs and Careers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hi Suzanne,

    This is Kelly from Optimal. Love your blog! Would you mind if I shared this article (cited, of course!) in our weekly newsletter?


    Kelly Giles
    social media strategist

  2. Ericka Y. Whitt

    What about the interviewing, I get the interview and second interview. And I never get passed that anymore. I seem to freeze up. Literally. I say nothing but stupid jibber-jabber. Even when I am done saying it. I think…I can’t believe I just said that. And I just want to run out and then it’s all just the Domino effect in my head. I no longer have interviewing skills how do I regain. I have not had to interview since 95′-96′? I am up there in age and it shows when my mind freezes up with being so freightend. Scared out of my Whitts! Get it!

    • suzanne kaller

      Hi Ericka,

      I’m sorry to hear you’re stuck. Somehow or other, you should try to think of the whole process as a game – albeit a mind game. I know it’s easier said than done. If you’ve ever played tennis or golf, you can lose to yourself just by psyching yourself out. Are there any job seeker support groups where you live? In the Denver metro area, we have lots of them led by facilitators with HR and/or recruiting backgrounds. You could get some tips that way. It also sounds like you might benefit by going to a professional career counselor who can coach you through this. You need to do something to boost your self-confidence. Being a volunteer where you’re helping others and getting your mind off yourself might be beneficial if you can spare the time and are so inclined.

      For whatever it’s worth, you are not alone. Lots of people are in the same dilemma. I meet people like yourself in the public library where I work. It’s a struggle and I can relate to your situation.

      I always tell me, to get out of the house. Try to place yourself in uplifting environments if you can. If you can do some volunteer work somewhere, if you feel you have a purpose and are needed, that might help you.

      I hope these comments give you some ideas to pursue.

    • suzanne kaller

      Sorry for the huge delay in response. My mother was ill and it was difficult keeping up a job and looking after her.
      I hope things have improved for you. If you are still having difficulty interviewing, I would recommend seeking out a Workforce center where they can help you with interviewing. All you need is some practice to get your confidence back. Where do you live? Perhaps I can make a recomendation.

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