Does My Job Fulfil My Purpose?
You might enjoy your job, heck, you might even be good at your job, but does that mean that what you are doing is fulfilling your purpose?
That is a very difficult question I had to ask myself to determine where I felt I belonged in the workforce. It was a very long road that to this day, I will still struggle with on occasion. I will even tell you that I still won’t be able to answer the question conclusively in reference to my situation by the end of this blog.
I tend to think that this is generally where most people find themselves when they are dealing with the question of what they are “meant to do” on Earth to make a difference. There are some who have a very clear vision of what they want to do, but even some that are considered visionaries by today’s standards would tell you that they still struggled with this question. Even while doing what they became known for today, they might tell you that it was just something they did rather than feeling as though they were “destined” to accomplish these goals.
Essentially, what this means is that you should never feel like something is wrong with you if you don’t feel compelled to do one particular thing that will set you apart from the rest of humanity. Many people go their whole lives without knowing exactly what that is while still making a meaningful difference in their own way. Does that mean that you should stop looking for an opportunity to find a greater purpose? No, of course not. The pursuit of a purpose is a major driving factor in many peoples’ careers, and to settle on something that leaves you unfulfilled is doing yourself a great disservice.
Okay, so you are shooting for a greater purpose. What does that look like? How do we label it? Sometimes, the answer is you simply don’t, you just feel it. If you are comfortable living on what your job gives you and you feel fulfilled while in your position, you shouldn’t feel pressured to leave that job just because you don’t know what it is that is making you feel this way. Sure, it might be helpful to know what it is so that if you happen to lose that job in the future, you might have an easier time replicating it, but there are many factors at play when you go to work. The work itself could be fulfilling, the people you meet, the colleagues you work with, the things you get to do or achieve, the places you go: any number of these things could be contributing factors to why you feel fulfilled in your job. An equivalent position in a different company might have many of the factors you had previously, but crucial pieces that you didn’t even realize were important are now missing, and it just doesn’t feel the same as before.
It’s important to note that while some opportunities might feel like advancements and no-brainers on paper and in theory, they might be a downgrade for you in terms of the levels of fulfillment you feel when performing your work. There are some people who take pay cuts to do the job that they love, simply because they value the mental health and psychological benefits of working in this position rather than the purely economical reasons for taking a job.
Well, what about me? Do I feel fulfilled in my current position? How about my last position? Was it an improvement? The truthful answer is, I really don’t know. My job as a sales professional in a retail jewellery store came with many pros and cons, and it definitely made me feel differently about the work I am doing now as a writer and quality control supervisor. I can’t exactly quantify it, but I can certainly say that while the work is vastly different, I feel fulfilled in different ways when I perform each job. Sales is far more connected with the end purchaser, becoming the helpful and courteous face of the company. There really is no other feeling when you find the perfect piece that makes your client over the moon. I have had a few people cry when they received jewellery, and knowing that I helped them to reach that level of happiness makes me feel really great about what I did as my job. On the other hand, I have always enjoyed being a writer, and being able to write for clients felt like a dream come true. I could write for hours without getting tired, and the sheer number of new things that I was learning made it feel that much better.
I determined that for me, to feel fulfilled I had to be bettering myself and/or other people in some meaningful way. By the time my work had been completed, there should be something I could point to that indicated I had made a difference in someone’s life while potentially also bettering myself and growing my skillset. Does this mean that this is the only thing that could possibly make me feel fulfilled right now? Almost certainly not, I just don’t know what those other things are, and that is okay.
The one thing that you owe to yourself, and something I promised myself that I would do with any job is to be in constant pursuit of how to improve, and to never stop hunting for greater fulfillment. While I did say earlier that you shouldn’t feel as though something is wrong if you don’t know what is fulfilling you, you should always be looking and seeking to grow. If you just don’t happen to find something better, that’s okay! Just don’t be afraid to make the move if you do to take a chance at improving yourself, and if it doesn’t work out in the end, there is no shame in returning to something that ended up being more fulfilling.Follow: