Beyond Purpose: A Journey to Discovering Passion – November 19, 2017
Beyond Purpose: A Journey to Discovering Passion
by Valerie Karpiel
Client Account Representative for Allied Affiliated Funding
As a young adult, I did not have a clear career path. There were so many things that I enjoyed and felt passionate about, but trying to find the best avenue for my future felt really overwhelming. I did not want to limit myself to just one passion when I had so many. At the time, I was teaching young children. Even though I enjoyed my work, something was still missing.
Is it possible to love what you do and not do what you love?
Steve Jobs said it best, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” I wanted to truly love what I did. I wanted to find passion and purpose.
So, what did I do?
First, I made a change to do something very different. Try something new.
Two and a half years ago, I accepted a position with Allied Affiliated Funding, a factoring company, where I am now a Client Account Representative. When I started, I struggled with, “How could I love what I do here?” It’s factoring after all. Financials. Not my thing. It turns out, I really like it here. I have spent a lot of time soul searching to figure out exactly why I work here though, as it is vastly different from what I have done in the past – from where my career path first started.
Then, I had to find my why. What was my purpose?
It is instinctive for us to do great work when we actually care about our work and who it impacts. Our work can truly change one person’s experience or affect an entire company or community, including our peers. O.C. Tanner conducted a study called The Great Work Study where employees reflected on their version of this question, “Is there a difference I can make that other people would love?” Their summarized answer – great work is done when you put your heart into it and when you are being genuine, giving everything you can give.
I thought about this question a lot, meeting with my peers, husband and others to discuss. I realized that I come to work every day excited to see my coworkers. I value every single person in the company, and in turn, they value me. My coworkers are now like my second family. I would do anything for them, whether helping on a project to alleviate stress or just to get something accomplished, lending a listening ear, or holding others accountable to be the best version of themselves that they can possibly be.
In addition to helping companies with their daily funding needs so they can meet payroll and overcome other financial challenges, part of my role at Allied includes planning all teambuilding activities. Yes, my role as a Client Account Representative makes a difference within the company and specifically for our clients, but my favorite part of my job is the teambuilding aspect. I help bring our team together in fun, creative ways. I get to be the glue that holds us all together. That is my purpose. To help my Allied family unite so we can grow, learn and succeed together.
Finally, I also got to discover my passion.
With all the opportunities for continued learning and growth, I have ultimately found my passion. I sincerely hope that I can now inspire my team as they inspire me to be a better person. At Allied, we are not your average company or your average employees. We accomplish something bigger within each individual person here. We all “show up,” even more so when presented with a challenge, especially when we have a united community. We are all capable of doing great work and finding our purpose and our passion.
Companies need all types of employees to run a smooth and efficient team. Our job is to figure out which piece we are in that company puzzle and how and where we best fit. Then, we can grow and flourish, making intentional choices along the way to inspire others. Our colleagues will want to work with us and for us, and they will certainly rally around us when we need it.
In finding my purpose, I have discovered my passion – the impact that I can personally make on the lives of others. Passion and purpose will often come naturally. You really only have to start with one. I believe if you find your purpose first, then you will be destined to discover your passion.