If you don’t see the purpose in your job

If you don’t see the point of your job and you feel that you’re lacking purpose, this can create an awful feeling of emptiness. Maybe it’s not so clear what your work, or the work of your department adds to the world or maybe you’ve just stopped believing in it


The zeitgeist is changing and, people are increasingly seeking purpose in their work. I think that’s an amazing development. Work is, after all, much more than a way to earn money. It is a big part of your life, a place where you can show the world who you are, and where you can contribute to it. Or at least that’s how it should be.


If you’ve lost your sense of purpose, things might seem hopeless, but luckily there’s a lot you can do about it.


1. Look at your work differently

A barista is really just a factory worker, like Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times. Endlessly making the same coffees, can be a very depressing job. But as a barista you also give many people a small moment of happiness with superior coffee in a hip place. Now that’s purpose.

Maybe it’s not so clear what your company or your department adds to the world, but there are other ways to contribute:

  • Maybe your colleagues like working with you, and go home happier in the evening and will be better partners, mothers and fathers because of you.

  • Maybe you’re learning a lot in your job and you’re really developing yourself. Ask yourself: what am I learning?

2. Find out what your purpose is

It’s always a good idea to find out what your drive is, what’s important to you, what you want to add to the world. That’s different for everybody. Make a list of the top five things that make you tick or try to get into a different mindset and think of what you liked to do when you were a child. What did you do when you played inside? Or outside? If you really think about this, you’ll remember things that you had forgotten and you’ll get new insights.


3. Do job crafting

If you don’t find what you need in your job, maybe you can gradually adapt it. Now that you know what makes you tick, you can see if there are ways to do more of it. Maybe you could start a project to make the company greener or maybe you could become a mentor to new employees. Talk about this with your boss and get his support. If you do this well, and with a bit of luck, one thing will lead to another and a lot will change.


4. Take a side hustle

In America this is completely hip. Do a small job along your real job, just for fun, or start a small company. Become an Über driver. Start teaching one morning a week in a school - they’re dying for teachers. Start a restaurant one evening a week in your living room when Covid is over. The possibilities are endless.


There are many websites about this with all kinds of interesting ideas. Here is one of them: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/293954.


You’ll see how much satisfaction a side hustle can give you. It might lead to something else, or at least it might help you to make peace with your main job.


Do you need more?

Work life can be so hard, when you don't see the purpose of it. Tips can be useful, but you may need more.


Do you recognise yourself in this blog? I coach people with all kinds of work related issues, including finding back purpose. Why not have a look around on my website, fromsurvivingtothriving.nl, or book a free taster session?

Do you want to read more blogs? fromsurvivingtothriving.nl/blog

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