Lerato Phalatse is a Legal Content Developer in the Legal Software industry, where she is currently impacting the use of technology in African legal firms to help law firms achieve better business results.
She is passionate about women and youth empowerment and believes that empowering women and youth plays a crucial role in the development of society.
You can join us in live conversation with Lerato on April 30th. Join our Facebook event page for the latest updates.
Why did you decide to speak on the topic: profession purpose and passion?
There have been times where I felt that I had got into a career that I didn’t want to do. One hears a lot of talk about "purpose" and "passion", and I had to reflect and question myself: how are these relevant in my life and have I experienced any of the three, you know?"
Since then I have always questioned myself: If there is passion, purpose and profession in life, are they linked? And if they are not linked, do I have to choose between any of them?
I’ve hopped from one job to the other, trying to get a better salary. And if not a better salary, trying to find purpose and enjoyment.
I started to reflect and ask the very crucial question of “Why?” In anything that I am doing, am I passionate? Am I purposeful at making an impact where I am?”
And that is where I began to do a lot of reading, and sparking debate with friends and family about passion, purpose and professionalism.
I think that the moment you realise or learn about who you are and what sets your soul on fire, you begin to tap into your passion and fuel change and wanting to make an impact.
It is for this reason that I chose to speak about passion, profession and purpose. I will be discussing how these have impacted my life and how they have brought about change and perspective in my everyday life, how I conduct myself at work and in everything that I am doing.
You say that you sparked debate with friends and family. What lessons came out of those conversations?
I spoke to some young friends, but I have had this conversation with people in their 40’s. What I gathered from people in their 40’s is that many wish they had taken a different path from where they are at the moment.
They have mentioned things like wishing they had some sort of guidance prior to making decisions about their careers and having mentors who would advise them.
They’ve even mentioned things like wishing that a mother would have allowed them to grow into their love and passion for business.
It made me realise the importance of investing time in encouraging our youth to ask relevant questions about where they are going, what they want to do and, above all, having a purposeful life and a life of service.
Regarding the younger people I have spoken to, most of them have said they’ve made decisions to further their studies based on what is the career path that will get you to make more money.
If you are spending 8 hours a day miserable, that has a ripple effect on every single thing, especially your relationships.
I made it my point that I will have an impact. Even in my workplace, I take it as I am there to serve the client, I am there to serve my colleagues, and that is so rewarding and that has put me in a much greater space because I understand that behind the word purpose there is such satisfaction.
What are some practical questions that you think young people should be asking themselves, and what else could they be doing to live a life of purpose or passion?
The first question is “What sets your soul on fire?"
What makes you jump from the bed in the morning? What would you do, even if you wouldn't be paid for it?
When you say you want to live a purposeful life, you constantly need to ask yourself "how can I be of service where I am, with the people I am with, with what I have?"
When you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny. Sometimes you only need to take one step, and that is all it takes for you to start a new movement or the beginning of a real impact.
What can young people do to live a purposeful life?
What I do is I keep a journal where I write my weekly goals, be it personal or professional. Writing and setting your weekly goals are the little steps to take toward your bigger goals.
Have a person you are accountable to. For some people, it isn’t enough to do it by yourself.
Seek a mentor whilst you are young. This can be anyone you admire or someone in whose footsteps you would like to follow.
For those in environments without people to look up to, or who are far from people who might mentor them, we are living in a time where we have access to so many platforms with which to empower ourselves.
You can do this by reading books. You can have social media accounts, be intentional about who you want to follow and engage with those people.
People can speak so badly about social media, and I was one of those people. I’ve only started using those social platforms like Facebook and Instagram this year because I told myself that I needed to discipline myself and as I began to become clear about my vision.
I told myself that I would only use social media platforms for the benefit of my purpose and the benefit of what I want to do out there in the world.
It boils down to how intentional you are about where you want to go as a person. Listen to podcasts, volunteer to an organisation you would like to affiliate with. There’s so much more to these platforms that I will discuss in detail during the webinar.
Also, share your experiences with other people. There is so much power is storytelling and sharing your experiences. People relate more when you are real and are speaking from a place of experience. Whatever resource you have, use it to share your experiences.
Those are some of the guidelines I would have given to my younger self.
Got questions? Join our Facebook event page for the latest updates on Lerato's webinar. https://www.facebook.com/events/209380063762438/