First of all, hi! Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here and I can’t wait to connect, share, and grow with you all in the coming months.
I’ve had numerous conversations recently about finding purpose in your work. It’s a hot topic (undoubtedly holding its spot in the future of work as 9 out 10 employees currently prioritize purpose over money at work), but what does it really mean?
It doesn’t have the same interpretation or value for all and that’s why I’m breaking it down into two categories today.
The first is a bit more clear-cut. Your purpose at work is in many ways directly related to your role within the organization. When you think about the product or service your company provides to its customers remember the impact that it has on their lives. Do you work for a software company that makes medical offices more efficient? Whether you are in accounting, engineering, marketing, or sales, you are a part of making the healthcare experience better for staff and for community members. Does your company provide cleaning services? Think about the time your team saves overwhelmed parents (and the time they get back to spend with their families) or the clean home you help create for a senior who is no longer fully mobile. You are a key piece of the puzzle that makes the engine run.
Your role fulfills a need, your skills create solutions, and your presence makes the organization stronger (and more successful). Your purpose at work is to help the service or product your company offers reach its full potential and maximize its impact.
The second digs a little deeper. This is where the human side of you really gets to shine. Let’s put aside company goals for a moment and think about the time we spend at work as employees. The average person spends 1,820 hours working in any given year (overtime and travel not included). That’s a lot of opportunity to create an environment in which others thrive and to create relationships that bring happiness and community that goes beyond the 9-5.
No matter what product or service your company offers, there are people on all sides of it (internal and external) that you get to impact. Think about the joy you bring a colleague when you share a relatable story during a stressful day or the growth a team member goes through by being led by you or the shelter down the street that receives toiletries from your donations and social impact initiatives. Your presence at work doesn’t only affect those inside your organization but it affects those outside of it too and it ripples far beyond the small actions you make each day.
This is where a culture of corporate social responsibility really comes in – described as a business’s accountability and commitment to contributing to the well-being of communities and society through various environmental and social measures*, companies engaging in CSR practices rely on people like you to be engaged, to participate, and to care, no matter what level of the organization you’re working in. Without your leadership at work, there is no team, there is no sense of well-being, and there is no community.
So, next time you’re feeling stuck and not quite sure how your work matters, align your focus on making progress in the present and watch how you begin to find purpose in your work. Being mindful of the impact that your role plays on both internal staff and wider society encourages a sense of responsibility and drives meaningful change.
When you feel fulfilled in your job you not only inspire yourself but also those around you.