Mission Driven Intrapreneurs

The path to workplace fulfillment is to align your career path with your life mission.

Americans are growing increasingly dissatisfied with their jobs. According to The Conference Board, the percentage of employees satisfied with their jobs has been declining over the past 20 years and it doesn’t seem like that trend will be reversing any time soon.

I don’t believe this is simply because of employees’ lack of money or poor work environments. I believe one of the key reasons that less than half of professionals in the workplace today are happy with their jobs is that they are doing the wrong job. One of the main reasons they are doing the wrong job is that 1) they don’t know what their life purpose or mission is and/or 2) they haven’t found the type of work that best aligns with their purpose or mission.

In my previous posting, “Powered by Intrapreneurs”, I defined an intrapreneur as a person who focuses on innovation and creativity and who transforms a dream or an idea into a profitable venture, by operating within the organizational environment. They possess entrepreneurial skill sets, but they choose to use them in a corporate setting rather than start a business on their own. A mission driven intrapreneur takes this definition even further. This person is an intrapreneur who closely aligns their job/career with what they believe to be their personal life mission.

Once a person discovers his/her life mission, a monumental shift in perspective occurs for them. One thing that they realize almost immediately is that they may be doing the wrong job or are in a career field that may not be best suited to their talents, aspirations or new life focus. They may decide its time to transition to a different career path where they can apply their entrepreneurial aspirations or talents in ways that bring them more personal and professional fulfillment. In many cases this may require a total change in career paths. This change in career paths could be referred to as “re-careering”.

“Re-careering” is increaing in popularity as the term used to describe professionals who change career paths, often resulting in jobs that are drastically different from the ones they had previously been doing. This concept is exciting for many people who believe they are trapped in their current jobs. However, those who have a desire to do this should proceed with caution. Re-careering is not just a job transition, but a life transition that requires serious consideration and planning.

Going through this type of transitioning process, however, can be an extremely frightening and difficult time. Before going down this pathway, a person has to wrestle with all the ramifications that come along with something that could cause drastic changes in work, family, and social life. What must also be considered is the large initial financial hit one may experience as they get their feet planted in their new job or company. Typically when a change like this is made, the person doesn’t start off at the top of the pay scale in their new field.

Here’s some tips for those who are looking for some direction as it relates to charting a new course for your career:

  1. The most important tip that I can share with you is to take some time to discover what truly is your life mission. Along with this, identify your passions, personality profile, and learning style. An incredible resource that I highly recommend is “Living the Life You Were Meant to Live” by Thomas G. Paterson. You could also hire a qualified life coach that is capable of walking you through an intense mission discovery process.
  2. Identify the requirements to succeed in the desired new job or career path, including education, certifications, licenses, experience, etc. Assess your current transferable skills that would make you successful in that new career field. For the skills or knowledge gaps that you have, make sure that you figure out how long it might take you to get the necessary tools to determine whether or not the time and cost trade-off is worth it to you.
  3. Diligently seek opportunities to learn about the alternative career path that you’re desiring. Talk to as many people in that career field as possible. Read as many resources as you can get your hands on. Go to as many seminars and workshops as you can afford. Listen to podcasts until your ears hurt. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into, because the grass on the other side of the career fence may not be as green as you perceive it to be.
  4. Get some hands-on experience before your transition by working part-time, freelancing or volunteering in that area. This could be internal or external to your current company. This will help you build your knowledge base and skill set in that area and also allow you to get an accurate picture of what your new work will be like.
  5. Write your plan and share it with your personal advisors. If you don’t currently have any, find some. Get candid input and feedback from your family and loved ones, because more than likely this transition will not just impact you.
  6. Go for it! Don’t wait for anyone to give you permission to thrive in your dream. Don’t let fear or naysayers stop your from fulfilling your life mission.

One place to start looking for mission driven intrapreneurial opportunities is your company’s social responsibility initiatives. Based on what you have discovered your life mission to be, you could choose one of these initiatives to contribute your time, talent, ideas, and entrepreneurial energy to help your company succeed. These initiatives could include:

  • Workforce diversity
  • Supplier diversity
  • Local schools, education and literacy
  • Community affairs
  • Health care
  • Environment
  • Economic development
  • Youth mentoring

If you have given up hope that you could ever be satisfied working for a company, don’t stop believing. You can still find excitement and satisfaction in the work that you do. You just have to know where to look for it. Use re-careering as the process to get on your mission driven career path to fulfillment!

Empowering Champions,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

1) “Successful Recareering” by Emily Keller

2) Your Brilliant Second Career” by Liz Ryan

3) “Risks and Rewards of the Intrapreneur” by Sean Silverthorne http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/2693.html

4) “Mission Driven Entrepreneurship” by Paul Wilson, Jr. http://biznovations.blogspot.com/2007/07/mission-driven-entrepreneurship.html


About Paul Wilson Jr.
Paul Wilson, Jr. is a "Dream Catalyst" and Marketplace Pastor for leaders and entrepreneurs. He is driven to lead people to unleash God’s potential in their lives through their purpose, passions, and professional skills. He equips leaders with creative, faith-based strategies to flourish spiritually and professionally, while operating from several multi-media platforms, including TV show host, inspirational speaker, and stimulating writer. Paul is the President of Kingdom Business University, which utilizes workshops, consulting, and coaching services to ignite Christian catalysts maximize their God-given mission in the marketplace. He is the author of the life purpose igniter “Dream B.I.G. in 3D: How to Pursue a Bold, Innovative God-Inspired Life!” He is also the host of Passion in Action, a motivational and educational faith-based Internet TV show for social entrepreneurs, business leaders, and community change agents. Contact us today to learn more about how he can help your business, church, or community to thrive on purpose!

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