The year was 2002 and I was a District Manager in Corporate America responsible for over 500 employees and 17 locations. My boss called me with some great news. The Vice President of the company wanted to offer me the position of Midwest Regional Manager. I would be responsible for over 5,000 employees in 7 Midwest States. The promotion would include a significant increase in pay and I would be one of the youngest Regional Managers in the history of the company!
I spoke to my colleagues and they advised me to accept the position, and that saying NO would be career suicide. I asked my boss what he thought and he agreed.
I took everyone’s advice into consideration and said NO to the opportunity.
On the surface, taking the position seemed like a no brainer, but it failed The Line- up Test because it did not line up with the vision that I had for my life. The single factor that will help you to say NO to the wrong opportunity is clarity of purpose. When you are clear on your life’s purpose, your gut will tell you when you are taking a course of action that does not line up -- even when it seems like a good idea on the surface.
The question becomes: How do you go about finding your calling? Keep reading and you will discover my three keys to finding your calling:
This is a Latin phrase for professional work that is done for free. If we lived in a world without money, what would you spend your 5-8 hours doing? Your answer is an indication of your calling. I am sure that Lebron James and Tiger Woods would play their respective sports if there was no money involved.
If you could make a difference for anyone or any cause, what would it be? I have observed certain ministers, police officers, and teachers in action. The passion that they demonstrate is a sign that they consider their work a calling and not just a job.
What talent do you possess for which people are always complimenting you? Those compliments are confirmation of the direction that you should pursue. For example, if people in different settings are always complimenting your public speaking ability, joining your local Toastmasters club would be a good next step. Once you enter an environment that allows you to cultivate your gifts, your next steps become clearer.
I am living proof that when you make decisions based on what you believe you are called to do, everything works itself out. Three months after I said no to the promotion, the company went through a restructure and eliminated the job. If I had not listened to my gut, I would have been unemployed.
What would you do pro bono? What you are passionate about? What are your personal abilities? You will find your calling and make your future decision making process much easier once you answer these questions.
Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner
PS. To get additional information on how to discover your calling, download my latest ebook, One Moment in Time.