Employees expect their jobs to bring a significant sense of purpose to their lives. Employers need to help meet this need, or be prepared to lose talent to companies that will. – McKinsey Report, April 2021
Is your job a source of stress and frustration? Do you dread each time the alarm clock sounds? Does your work fail to ignite purpose and passion in your heart? Believe it or not, your employment can provide both the income you need and the fulfillment you crave.
In fact, if you desire to find true purpose in your work, you’re not alone. Research this year showed that half of the US-employees surveyed (McKinsey, April 2021) are reconsidering the work they want to do as a result of COVID19. Consequently, the majority of those are looking for greater purpose in their work.
Meanwhile, even if your company isn’t doing the work to connect the two for you, you can do the work for yourself! Here’s how.
Excel Where You Are
One of the reasons your job may be unfulfilling is that it has become mundane. For example, you do the same tasks, in the same order, and every day is exactly the same as the day before. This is such a drain on your energy and creativity. But, before calling it quits to look for something brand new to call your career, make sure you are blooming where you are planted. Even if something isn’t in your job description, you can take the initiative to learn. Certainly you’ll come closer to finding your purpose if you’re actively growing and learning.
For instance, if you’re working a finance job and you’re entering invoices, think about how you can pursue opportunities to learn and grow. Could you learn more about the other positions in the department? Or offer to evaluate processes and make suggestions on how to make things run more effectively? In the same vein, many people find that growing from an individual contributor into a supervisory role provides a true sense of purpose as they’re leading and growing others. They find the job itself is simply the conduit.
In contrast, if you stay in your current routine and fail to exert an ownership mindset, you may fail to uncover the gifts within yourself that can lead to a more purpose-driven experience at work.
Have The Right Attitude
Many things in life come down to having the right attitude and perspective. In other words, finding purpose at your job starts with the belief that you can. You do have the power to make changes that make a huge difference in the satisfaction and fulfillment you experience at work. Those changes start with an attitude that looks for the good and focuses on solutions instead of problems. Practicing gratitude for the job you currently have can actually help you to discover your purpose.
Identify Your Next Steps
To connect your purpose and your work, start by identifying the changes that you want to make:
- First, ask yourself if you’re really in the right line of work. Do you see yourself continuing with this type of job for a long time? If you do want to stay in this line of work, begin to understand why you haven’t found your purpose yet. If you don’t like your line of work, it’s time to discover what want to do and go for it.
- Then, identify the changes you can make in your attitude or your approach to your duties. Write down the things you like about your job. Think about the contribution your position makes to others and to your organization. Reflect on the aspects of your job that fit in with your goals and values.
- Next, reflect on what you’d like to get out of your job. Where do you see your career in 3 years? 5 years? Are there specific results you would like to achieve? What would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail? Can you define the next level of success in your current position?
- Last, set measurable, long-term goals that get you energized. Even if you don’t quite reach your goals in the time frame you set for them, just working towards those goals will ignite a passion within you that fuels your journey to the joy you deserve.
To sum up, find purpose and passion in your work by ensuring you’re in the right place, set goals that fire you up, and take action each day until you achieve them. If you do, you’ll be much more likely to find the job fulfillment that you crave.