We all fantasize about our dream job. We’re taught that it can be ours if we work hard, get educated, and network our socks off. We’re told to incorporate every strength possible, visualize, meditate, focus, write an inspiring eye-catching resume, and create the lives we want to live.
Each of those suggestions is helpful, but what happens when our perfect position isn’t out there? What happens to the moments, weeks, and years in between? What about the jobs we take to build a solid foundation for that perfect career down the road?
Few people waltz out of school and into their dream jobs. Some do, but many don’t. What happens when we find our priorities shifting and our dream jobs just don’t provide the meaning we now seek as we grow, change, adjust, and shift focus?
Some people never feel like their dream job is within reach. Some people have it and then realize it’s not what they dreamt.
Are you destined to a work life of misery if the stars don’t constantly align for your career? If you’re working your way through school waiting tables or doing construction, must you just suck it up and accept that your job might feel like a dead end?
We’re all looking for meaning and purpose in a world that seems smothered in controversy and conflict. Life can feel hopeless – with or without what looks like a dream job.
A bulk of our lives is spent working. Our interests shift. Our lives change. What we want and how we want to get it changes. We evolve.
We need to be able to bring purpose to every workplace or we’re destined to spend much of our lives bored, stagnant, and frustrated.
Possessing the ability to bring purpose to any workplace lets you stay inspired no matter where you’re at in your career.
Feel excited to want more. Take responsibility for your inspiration. Bring meaning to every day.
Though we’re often told that certain industries benefit the world more than others, one job has meaning and another is simple drudge work, the truth is, no matter where you’re at in your career, where you sit in the office, if you push a broom or swipe a company card, you can build purpose into any workplace.
Change your life for the better. Put these tips to use and watch the awesome unfold.
1. Focus on the most basic reason for your job.
Do you manufacture a product? Market an idea? Clean a bedroom? Break your position down to the obvious and step-by-step, take note of how it helps people. Take it one step further. See the purpose of your job and see not only how it serves its purpose but how it makes the lives of others easier, more pleasant, and offers a sense of well-being. Even what we see as hideous jobs have positive purpose or they would cease to exist.
2. Assess the full spectrum of how you reach people with your job.
Focus on the lives you touch. Think about the people you directly impact daily. This includes your co-workers, clients, and the people you serve. See how you fit into their lives and try to brighten their moments. Listen to their stories. Expand their hope. Solve their problems. Shift their perception toward the positive. Create light.
3. See the big picture of your life.
The job you’re doing isn’t forever. Every day is a new moment. Every moment is a fresh opportunity to change, grow, and learn. Choose to personally improve with every task you face. Remember that each day is merely a small piece of a much larger puzzle. If you’re not yet where you’d like to be, focus on the duties you perform at your job and recognize how they can easily translate to the future you’re building.
4. Share information that encourages positive impact.
Actively seek inspirational material. Better yourself outside of work and take that knowledge into the workplace with you. Email it, talk about it at lunch or ask the boss to highlight it. If you’re a member of the leadership team, build personal positive development content into a regular share rotation. Take designated time as a group to reflect on the information and how it can benefit your workplace.
5. Encourage a volunteer program.
No matter your industry, strong community bonds are important. Suggest volunteering at a local nonprofit. Talk with your leadership team and highlight the benefits of community visibility, team building, and improved outreach. Choose a charity as a team. Ways to help are varied and seemingly endless. Donate a portion of sales to the cause. Use social media to tweet, share, and highlight nonprofit issues. Explore the possibilities of how your team can contribute. The act of doing is more important than exactly how you do it.
6. Streamline your workplace to be kinder to the planet.
Purpose encompasses the well-being of all. Making a conscious decision to assess the friendliness of your work processes will help you more fully understand where you can improve. Can you tackle the issue of waste, inefficient energy use or excess single-use plastic? Encourage your leadership team and staff to take eco-friendly strides toward improving your work space and the planet. Such awareness can spread into homes and communities. This is how positive movements of purpose begin.
7. Highlight team building that doesn’t center around food and alcohol.
As a society, we’re constantly taking time to eat and drink with one another. Catching lunch or happy hour can be an easy go-to, but when we focus on eating and drinking to drive conversation and communication, we lose a bit of the vulnerability that goes along with truly getting to know someone. Plan gatherings with your team that involve working together and seeing each other in a different light. Do a group hike, go bowling, or join a softball league. Get to know your team mates as human beings, not just co-workers.
8. Take 15 minutes every morning and focus on the benefits of your position.
The more we want to focus on the negative, the more we must make time to focus on the positive. This isn’t about ignoring reality. This is about choosing the thoughts that you want to dominate your mind. You can choose to speak, act, and react from a space of insecurity, fear or anger or you can operate from a place of gratitude. When we choose to see the positive in our circumstances, we’re able to bring positive energy to our actions and interactions. Bringing positive energy helps create positive energy. Take time every moment to get in a good frame of mind. Go into your workplace ready to learn or teach something new.
No matter the details of your day job, it’s possible to see beyond the title and direct duties of what you do. Feeling fulfilled in how we earn our money is essential to feeling as if our lives are whole, healthy and worthwhile. Take some time to bring these suggestions to the table in your workplace and watch your experience transform.