reigniteI spent the first five years of my career after graduating law school and passing the bar enmeshed in a sea of litigation, not knowing who or what I was fighting for.

Now, each day I wake up passionate about who I work for, who I work with and the cause that has become my life’s mission.

When I left my law firm litigation job, I dedicated myself to founding a company that I envisioned from a time where I was struggling in my own academic career.

In the summer of 2001, I was diagnosed with systemic lupus in the term I was supposed to matriculate to college. My first term at university was a battle,both with my illness and with the administration.

I struggled profoundly with managing active lupus and an antiquated system that did not accommodate invisible illnesses and disabilities.

I through this experience I was inspired to go to law school so that I could help those afflicted by any disability, but I found myself spending five years litigating for causes unrelated to my passion, which ultimately led to my unhappiness and eventually to my termination.

My work with the law firm didn’t fuel my passion and it showed. After getting fired from my litigation job, I was able to create an academic consulting and advocacy company for students with exceptionalities and spend each and every day loving what I do.

I am able to lovingly and holistically fight for those with disabilities that have not been appropriately accommodated at all levels of education.

Here is how I re-ignited the passion in my career and created dimension and mindfulness in my personal life as a result. I am hoping through this each person whether it be a mother, student or other, can see that different paths lead us to self-advocacy and hope that you will be able to find yours.

1. Getting Fired

I know, I know.

How can getting fired reignite passion and purpose in your life? Sometimes we do what’s comfortable and what we are good at for a long time without re-examining our own calling. However, what I have come to realize, and I am sure many of us have, is the only way passion is reignited is through a jolt — something that shakes you and wakes you up.

Unfortunately sometimes it takes a loss of some kind to get to that realization. If you are reading this after getting laid off or failing a class, know that it may be the best recess or message life can give you – embrace it.

Getting fired is a little known secret that leads to profound professional, spiritual and emotional change. Getting fired certainly illuminated a lot in myself, but I needed a big jolt.

Look for signs that you are not where you are supposed to be and know that the perfect job is waiting for you or you can create it yourself.

2. Remembering What Makes You Tick

After the aforementioned firing, I was able to really evaluate what makes me happy professionally and even academically (I eventually went back to school to learn more about education).

We spend a lot of time, or at least I did, thinking about what makes us happy on a personal level but we hardly ever take the time to find out what makes us happy in a professional setting. Meanwhile, we spend most of our time working.

Ironic, don’t you think? During my respite from litigation, I wrote down all the times I really thrived in a professional setting.

This gave me clarity on the kind of company I wanted to start and the kind of people I wanted to attract as clients. I am happy to report that I have created the company I absolutely love and I have clients that I am proud to call friends.

3. Give Back to Your Community & Volunteer

If you are at a loss as to how to proceed professionally or are in a rut at a job that doesn’t feed your soul, begin volunteering at different organizations in your community.

This may not pay your bills but the act of volunteerism will feed your soul. When I was evaluating different professional opportunities, I began volunteering at various organizations and places.

Through these volunteer opportunities, from homeless shelters to prisons to animal rescues to women suffering domestic abuse, (just to name a few) I soon realized that I wanted to work in repairing our broken education system and increasing equality and access for marginalized persons.

Giving back to your community will help put things in perspective and will help you find your true passion.

4. Be Patient

Mindfulness about your career or your education does not happen overnight. Know that if you do the work and document your journey, the right job and the right life will come to you. It took me close to nine months to fully conceptualize my business, and I am so glad that I had the patience and fortitude to stick with it! Be kind to yourself and take the time you need to go through this awesome journey of self-discovery.

5. Take the leap and be your own boss

Being my own boss has been the most liberating and fulfilling experience I have had thus far. Taking the entrepreneurial leap of faith has helped me grow as an individual in both my personal and professional life.

I’m not advocating for everyone to go and quit their job, start a new major, change schools and start a full-fledged business. I am only asking… what if your favorite hobby can earn you and your family some money for a vacation or extra income?

If you like to write, start a blog.

If you like to craft, create an Etsy store so your beautiful crafts can be in the home of another family.

The possibilities are really endless. Monetize your hobby and you will be amazed at how much passion and love you can derive from making others happy!

Take some time to evaluate what makes you happy and how you can make that into a career or even in school. It is certainly easier said than done, but the rewards are endless. If you’re sitting in a cubicle or even in a dead-end major while reading this, staring at a Cathy comic as the days run together, it is time for you to reevaluate and reignite — you don’t even have to get fired.

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