I am lost on my career path

I am a software engineer but I dont care about what I am working towards with my job. I build web applications for other peoples’ businesses. Currently I am building a health and wellness website for a company that also cares about charity. As good as their mission is, I just do not care about this work. It brings me no pride. In fact, it brings me pain knowing I am spending my precious life doing things I dont care about. I am not sure what I care about. Initially I learned to program because I wanted to build a web application and digital business of my own someday, that helps improve peoples’ lives directly. Whose mission is something I care about. Problems that haunt my mind regularly are issues of female genital mutilation, child marriage, and a lack of opportunity and freedom for women. I traveled Africa and in spending time with the women there, all they thought their life’s worth was to have babies. She sat there writhing in pain over period cramps. A pharmacy was only a two minute walk away but she had never even heard of ibuprofen. I gave her a couple and she felt better within the hour. She saw me driving a car and was astonished to see a woman driving. I offered to teach her and she refused. I want to help improve gender equality, reduce the atrocities forced upon women like being forced to have sex with their husbands or be raised in a way that psychologically they oppress themselves from escaping. I love to travel and I love language. I also want a profitable business where I make at least $100k/year and hopefully more up to $200/300k I would be happy and stable financially in the city I live in. I am lost and dont know where to start. I love interacting with people globally and hearing their stories. I want to build something that improves the lives of women and after that, interact with the people I am serving more than spend time on the computer. Thanks for listening. It was helpful just to even organize that into a post. Any advice or experience in finding a meaningful and satisfying career you care about? 

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Tarke Edith
Sep 02
Sep 02

Hi there
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this great furum of women who sees into others problems and try to advice.them .You know that what you are passion for is what you can do best,dear don't be confused choose what you know is more profitable. as concerned the gender problem, that should be a good program for you to carry so as to care for your community. I wish you good luck in your search for a new career.

I really appreciate your honest, practical advice. I myself am very practical and it is nice to hear this from other women letting me know it is OK to not work my day job for social causes, but rather work for $$$ and use that in my other time to help. Thanks :) I feel a lot better doing my work today.

Hello, dear sister,

Welcome to World Pulse! You are in the best place to figure out what you want to do in life.

Your skillset is one of the sought-after, and even highest-paid vocations there is. Digital technology is the way forward, and I wish I have the skills you have, really.

I believe it all begins with really knowing yourself, and what you are passionate about. Sometimes passion is not something we are good at, it can be what we feel so strongly about or even angry against, and you've already listed on your post what those are.

What activity would make you forget to eat or delay sleep? What activity would you work for without pay? How can your current resources (time, skills, finances, etc) meet that activity? What kind of people do you want to work with? What will make you truly fulfilled if you know you're going to die a year from now? For me, it took an encounter with a typhoon that made me realize I want to write stories.

You may also try searching stories here based on topics you are passionate about to find out what other women are doing. Perhaps it will bring you inspiration or an idea of what you'll like to do. :)

Nice meeting you! Looking forward to reading your stories. :)

Urmila Chanam
Sep 05
Sep 05

Dear friend,
You are already on the path to find a solution for the temprary dilemma by identifying what is making you unhappy and what you actually love doing. Most people do not even get there, so hats off to you for figuring that out on your own and with some soul searching. Additionally, we need to have a very practical approach to life, income, and what keeps us happy. Please never forget that not all social development work brings food on the table and pays bills and if you have dependents, you have to think for them too. Also, just because we have a 9-5 job in a different sector does not mean we cannot be involved in humanitarian work. I advise you to focus on your career as a software professional and never underestimate its importance because a working woman with financial independence by virtue of example alone to other women is contributing to women's welfare. In addition to that you may have a social enterprise that shares your skills and experiences to lesser advantaged women. I wish you all the best and my prayers.
Love
Urmila Chanam
India

This really helped me to realize if I don't work full time in humanitarian work, or working with women as I would like, at least for a while as I build up my resume and bank account, I can feel proud of myself. I am enjoying my work a lot more today because of your words, so thank you for taking the time to respond <3

maeann
Sep 05
Sep 05

Helo, thanks for sharing how you feel about your career. Try to do some volunteer work on your free time during weekends. A volunteer work that involves caring other people or anything that will divert your time interacting with other people. Hope this helps :)

This is really good advice. Simple, practical, and absolutely something I can do in my free time. It will likely also help me figure out what causes I may want to work for later in life once my $ and career are more set. Thank you!

maeann
Sep 07
Sep 07

Send an updates of what volunteer work you did and how it impacts you :)

Tamarack Verrall
Sep 07
Sep 07

Others have offered some great ideas. I hope you find a way to use the skills you have, even by creating a path where all comes together, when and where you want to use your computer skills, and how to weave in your heartfelt passion to help change what women are too often forced into. You'll find the balance you need, just keep on wishing for the right combination, even if it opens new and unexpected paths.

Anita Shrestha
Sep 16
Sep 16

Dear
Be cool, cool then you will find solution.

Juliet Acom
Sep 16
Sep 16

Hi,

Thank you for sharing your fears. Trust me I have been there. And my advice is that you can do both!
You can follow your passion and have a career too. One could easily fund the other.

You can continue to work in the IT field and the monies you realise from this can be used to empower vulnerable women.

I am an accountant by training - it is how i earn my living but also my passion is sickle cell advocacy in rural communities and slums, also empowering illiterate and semi illiterate women and girls. I must confess that 90% of my advocacy work is supportef by my accounting job.

So my advice is that take leave, use your leave to meditate, do a self reflection evaluation and make a decision that will make you happy.

It will help clear the confusion. I wish you all the best.