If you are struggling with your current 9 to 5, know you’re not alone. There are lots of high achieving Type A people out there who desperately want to love their work, but simply don’t.
What’s Your Purpose?
I love the Japanese concept of Ikigai (reason for being or purpose) to find that “purpose nexus” where your gifts, skills, passions, and values align.
But will gaining clarity on purpose help us find happiness in the workplace? It’s a fairly new phenomenon that we get to choose our career path and that we choose this path from a sense of purpose. The problem is, determining what your purpose is—a lot of us miss the mark when making our decisions during our early 20s when we are establishing ourselves in our careers.
I truly believe you can design a life that you love at any age and any stage. The theme throughout my career has been a search for purpose. What I’ve found most challenging is getting out of my own way to determine what my purpose is—that is, truly listening to myself, rather than what makes my parents, or friends, or society happy.
Regaining Sight of Purpose
What I’ve seen in corporate culture is that some of us fall into career paths because we naturally pushed to the next goal post in our career—the next raise, the next promotion, the next level. The goal becomes, not alignment with purpose, but with making that next marker. I’ve met with people who feel unsuccessful because they took a year or two longer to make a promotion milestone, when they have the same credentials as those who were promoted earlier and have many unique talents that contribute to adding value in the workplace.
When talking to clients about issues like these, I challenge them to consider their larger purpose and if there’s another way to achieve it, rather than just a promotion. Is the end game is just about having a title? The end game, I propose, is about doing something. How can you align your purpose with what you’re currently doing? Are there additional tasks you can take on that will let you do what you love, or do what your good at? Can you start your own business and get paid for what you love? Can you volunteer and do something that the world needs?
There are a multitude of ways to gain purpose, there is no one recipe. Refining your purpose in your 9 to 5 will transform your relationship to work. Creating alignment of purpose with your life inside and outside of work will help you create a life that you love.