Man is a social animal and survival is his major need. There are needs that he needs be fulfill. The needs can be physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. A common thread that connects all the above need is a means to sustain physically. He can barter his skills to sustain himself.
If the urge to contribute physically arises then he can do physical labor, like bringing about movement on the physical level. If there is an urge to contribute mentally, he can choose to be an organizer, one who can overlap events and schedule activities. An emotional urge will be satisfied if he chooses to be a mentor. Spiritual urge can be addressed by spreading the word of the infinite.
The choice of his work mainly depends on his current frame of mind. Normally, a person chooses his profession depending on the market feasibility and the highest financial benefits. Though this seems to be the most obvious choice of choosing a profession but surely will lead him to be utterly frustrated and mentally unstable as time passes by if this is not in alignment with his life's purpose.
Time waits for nobody and later on in life there is the time for retrospection the most obvious question that would come up are: "How did I spend my time? Was I of any help to anybody? Will I every be remembered when I'm bygone?" These are very common questions anybody would have encountered. These questions arise at different phases in our life. A student towards the end of his vocation will be encountered with these questions. A lawyer at the conclusion of a case would be questioned by his conscience. And almost all of us on the last day of our professional life.
The question now one would ask is, "I have now realized that this is not a profession of my choice and I have taken it up just to sustain my physical and social needs, but this is not the profession that I would give my life for. What do I do now? I possibly can't abandon my present commitments? The only alternative I see now is abandon the profession of my life and make my self believe that there is more to life than your job." Its very comfortable to be part of the rut and postpone the most dreaded questions till you retires.
One can't afford to abandon one's current profession and create an internal civil war. One would prefer to look at his job differently. Suppose you realize there is an inert pull towards writing. You would want to hang around with people who have a similar bend. If there is an urge to teach then you would want to volunteer your time at a night school. One common thing that would stand out is your commitment to have a fulfilling life. The initial infatuation will always wither out and you would yet again be stranded with the same dreadful questions. But one's commitment towards finding a job one loves will help one see through this turbulence.
One can look at an alternative approach to discover the job of his life. Start with the end result in mind. For example you would want to be of some help to the people around you. How would you possibly contribute? You would have a wealth of experience that you would have accumulated in your professional life. You would want to mentor the new comers with your experience. You would never have someone come to you and say "Hey I want you to mentor so many people" Though not impossible this may seem a remote possibility. You need to reach out and let people know that you are willing to contribute. You need to take the first step. This is what most people fret. They fret to ask. First and foremost one needs to be more social and approachable. Secondly, one needs to be focussed on the reality that this is an opportunity that one is working towards.
It is very important that one reads and listens a lot during this phase. You would have accumulated a wealth of experience during your career but there is a difference between knowing and the ability to articulate one's thoughts. Reading and listening helps one to have a uniform stream of thoughts.
Let then the knowledge flow through you. An element of doership normally creeps in when one thinks that one is doing something noble. Your experience is a gift of nature. It was an opportunity that was given to you at that point in time. This knowledge will just flow through you where it is needed the most. In most instances you would be surprised by yourself at the impact that your experience has created on people around you.
Altaf Merchant is a software engineer by profession. He lives in Bangalore, India. You can get in touch with him on firstname.lastname@example.org.