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Rediscover the why of your work

By Nancy Nzalambi | October 25th 2020 at 08:00:00 GMT +0300

Finding fulfilment at work is linked to finding the purpose of why you are working in the first place. Work purpose is quite elusive for many of us. We always endeavour to land on the “right” roles that we hope will create more meaning out of life.

When we feel connected to the type of work we do and how it matters, the bottom line lies in what impact it has in the lives of people. What gap does your job address and how does it address the things that matter most in life? How do you use your unique attributes to brighten the lives of others?

Harmony with your life

For your job to be much more than just a way to earn money, you need to find a sense of engagement and harmony with the rest of your life. We work hard to climb the career ladder, to achieve success; hopefully more money and a fulfilling life.

We all hope for a happily ever after where our jobs and satisfaction are concerned. However, when there is a disconnect between our careers and personal lives, we may find ourselves suffering from burnout.

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Work/life balance is difficult to achieve. We should strive for synergistic harmony considering more of the quality of the hours we put into work rather than quantity. Do an honest day’s job and back off when enough is enough.

After all, work life has a way throwing challenges when we think we’ve handled everything. So bring your whole self to work and take your whole self back home. Enjoy the journey of life by being okay with your achievements while keeping your ambitions alive. Happiness won’t come to you just because you think you deserve it.

Fulfillment in giving back

To shape your career vision, connect it to the bigger picture. We have coworkers who need support to overcome mistakes. Helping others deal with their failures will in turn teach you how to make better decisions.

Holding someone else’s hand as they venture on a different path rather than societal expectations, advocating for fairness where others are disadvantaged, lifting unhealthy restrictions, allowing others to thrive as they should, including others who for unfair reasons are isolated, making opportunities more available, and helping others prioritise their wants and needs can give you another dimension of job satisfaction.

Supporting others gives you a chance to see the tangible impact you create in another person’s life. It also serves as a refreshing reminder to show gratitude for what we have.

Focus on the impact of your work

It is easy to fall into the routines of the jobs we do. More often than not, we are more energetic at the beginning of a task. We slump and eventually stall out along the way due to lack of a sense of purpose. The purpose of our assignments may seem just normal work for many of us.

We should therefore focus more on the goal, not the chore. Goal setting has been documented as a more productive way of working rather than just doing your best. This intrinsic motivation distinguishes high achievers from everyone one else. 

Live by business values

Our companies have set cultures and values that guide their modus operandi. A clear set values helps employees to connect their day to day activities with a greater good.

If you are in leadership, you know that leaders are always being watched. You have to live and lead by example. Furthermore, to communicate values for many to adapt, they have to be taught via orientation and training. This conveys and organisation’s dedication and significance attached to the values.

To reinforce culture and values, reward behaviors centered on company values and let go employees whose behavior consistently contradicts the desired behavior. Allow the core values to shape hiring processes, performance reviews, client experiences and any business deals.

Beware of exploitation

Even though no one truly gets to the top on their own, the biggest contributor for a person’s success is him/herself. Forced by circumstances that were out of their control, our colleagues may find themselves a disadvantaged position, requiring help from people of good will to get back on track.

As much as we offer support, we should promote accountability by acknowledging that they have a critical role of redesigning their own success.

If you are the one receiving help, be careful of the favours that are not well-mentioned. When things are thick, be humble enough to accept it and ask for a helping hand. Smart ways of doing this include asking for a recommendation or endorsement of your product through networking.

Author Isaiah Hankel, Ph.D advises that “the key is to make sure that the favors you’re accepting are not from manipulative people.”


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