Defining the intersection between listening and living

That is the purpose of life

To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”
James Thurber

Reflection is always my foundation. I enjoying starting reflection with a good quote. Quotes help to focus and open the mind to new possibilities. I find myself doing this a lot lately. I want to tell you about a conversation I had last week. It made me be honest with myself and consider what do I want from life. After a frank conversation, I needed to be transparent with myself on my purpose in life.

Last week I had a frank conversation with a client who asked me what I am still doing working here?

I have been working as a contractor for several years and have been using this time to decide where I wanted to go next. I have been working as a contractor for several years and have been using this time to decide where I wanted to go next. This past week another contractor announced they received a full time position with the client. This prompted the conversation since I had been working for a contractor the client for some years.

The conversation with this client was surprising as I did not expect the client to be aware of the movement of contractors. Though this was surprising it was insightful as we dialogued about my goals, mentors, and career path. During the conversation I explained that I was struggling in determining my career direction. Thinking about my current position I was happy with aspects of it but not the lack of control. I was still looking but not finding anything that sparked my curiosity. We talked about that for a while. The client then moved to ask me if I had looked for opening in the company. Was I satisfied with my current position? And whether it was that I had not found the position that would spark my curiosity? I told them that I had not, while I had looked at positions I had not found one that I had a curiosity for. The client then commented do you have a mentor? Then why not? I was a little taken back as I had thought that a mentor was not needed for these types of things. My knowledge on what a mentor was, a person that is frank, honest, bold, persevering aiding in guiding you through your career and sometimes life, but from the reaction that I received I thought I missed something. I said how I thought that bringing in a mentor before I knew what direction I wanted to go in, was waste of my time and theirs. The client then encouraged me that a mentor would be a person that could help you determine such things. A mentor is a person that you could bounce ideas off of and receive insight from. I paused thinking it would not be a waste of time to find a mentor now. Then I resolved that I would determine the benefits of having a mentor. What is their purpose? Responsibilities and how to find one? Not that I do not know what one is I wanted to understand the complexities of the role.

I went back to the basic by reflecting on my current career path. Revisited the conversation that took place and whether I was being honest with myself. I find that social interactions lead to self-truths. The truths that is profound and deep. We do not always realize these truths but our interactions evolve from each of them. I went back to the articles I had collected, I used Pocket (Read it Later), which is my go-to method of collecting web articles. I found the information mundane and repetitive. I was looking for insightful, detailed and thought provoking.

After reviewing the information that I had collected, I thought about what to do next. I was left with these questions: how do people find a mentor? What is important in a mentor? And what is it that makes someone a good mentor? I believe that I have at least found a starting point in my search for a mentor and redefining my purpose in life.

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1 Comment

  1. Len Berry May 5, 2015

    I recall meeting with a writer I respect. He’s not a household name, by any means, but he makes a living doing the work he loves. Since that’s the sort of life I want for myself, I made sure to talk with him when the opportunity rose.

    What is a mentor? For me, it’s someone who points the way.

    How does one find a mentor? Be willing to listen.

    Those are my answers anyway. However you go forward, best of luck. Having clarity is always a wonderful thing.

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