How can a mentor help you find your purpose?

How can a mentor help you find your purpose?

11 April 2024
Sabine Rosseel
  • “Purpose comes up sooner or later in almost every mentoring process. That ‘flash-forward’ moment – what legacy do I want to leave behind? – can be challenging, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do a U-turn.”

  • Insights from mentor Eric

    • Many people find it difficult to determine their purpose. Ask yourself: what gets me out of bed in the morning? What gives me energy?
    • Busy, busy, busy. If you want to think about your purpose, it’s not enough to find time – you need to make time.
    • Injecting more purpose into your professional life is often a matter of shifting emphasis and experimenting.
  • Eric, can you tell us what purpose actually is?

    “Purpose is everything that gives meaning to your actions. Only you can determine what energises you and what excites you. Often, it’s not that simple because other people chime in – parents, friends and work colleagues, for instance. Then again, it’s often something that changes over time.”

  • Why dwell on your purpose at all?

    “If that tension builds up over many years, you’re likely to develop psychological symptoms: you might be moody or feel lethargic, and this can also affect those around you. In the worst-case scenario, you could end up experiencing a burnout. You certainly shouldn’t let it get that far.”

  • How do people react when you broach the subject of purpose during a mentoring session?

    “Purpose is about existential issues and questioning your status quo. Two factors complicate matters. One is our role or identity. What do I identify with? Will that still matter to me when I’m old and grey? Some people are more trapped in their own definition of that role than others.

    “The other factor is our habits or routines. Reflecting on your purpose means stepping out of that comfort zone, perhaps trying to acquire new skills. It might be tough at first, but if it’s something you’ve set your heart on, you’ll get there.”

    • If it turns out that only 20% of your job doesn’t motivate you and the other 80% does, it’s important to appreciate that 80% and rethink the rest

  • Do you draw on your own experience?

    “Definitely. I worked in marketing and sales for much of my career, chasing market share and revenue. When I moved into HR at a later stage in my career, the focus shifted to developing talent within the organisation. That gelled better with my attitude to life at the time.

    “A mentoring programme centred around purpose can lead to someone doing a completely different job, or even completely changing their lifestyle. But things don’t necessarily have to work out that way. Sometimes it’s just a matter of shifting the emphasis or taking a fresh look at your current job.

    “People tend to focus on the negative. But if it turns out that only 20% of your job doesn’t motivate you and the other 80% does, it’s important to appreciate that 80% and rethink the rest. That may also mean adopting a different leadership style, for example switching from a directive to a supportive style that gives your staff more leeway and boosts your own job satisfaction.”

  • Must-read: The True North (Bill George)

  • “Compare your purpose to a compass. Use it early and often enough to make sure you stay on the course that’s right for you.” More info

  • BIO

    • Eric Dumez (60)
    • Passionate about personal growth.
    • Completed a Bachelor’s degree in sociology while studying business administration.
    • Spent 32 years at Henkel building a career in marketing, sales, logistics, HR and general management.
    • Started giving coaching lessons 15 years ago.
    • Has been working as a mentor at Ambits since early 2024.
      • Manager types

      • Who are you?

    • Ambits offers business mentoring to different audiences. Our mentor community is equipped to help them with their specific leadership challenges. Discover below what Ambits can do for you.

    • Young professional

        • Young professional

          • Kicking-off your career
          • Eager to discover your strengths
          • Find your position in the organization to perform at your best
    • First time manager

        • First time manager

          • Taking up your first leadership role
          • Moving from an operational to a management position
          • Discovering the challenges of people management
    • Middle Manager

        • Middle Manager

          • Positioned between first-line and top management
          • Balancing between managing up and managing down
          • Leveraging the potential of people & teams
    • Top manager

    • Entrepreneur or founder

        • Entrepreneur or founder

          • Starting or scaling up your own company
          • Experiencing growing pains
          • Eager to develop solid leadership to move to the next level
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