• Rebecca Laidlaw

How to find purpose in your work

We all want to love our job right? To be fulfilled. To wake up excited for the day. In reality, how many of us truly are?

To understand how to find our purpose then we need to know what purpose is. It's a buzz word at the moment right now? We are all seeking our purpose. The Dictionary definition of purpose is "the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists". We all ultimately want to know: Why we are here. Why me? What do I offer the world?

Your purpose stems from what you love. Don't overcomplicate it. I know you want to. What do you actually like doing? Enjoy doing? What do you talk about as if time doesn't exist?

You know what you like and you don't like. Let's use Marmite as an example, you know if you like it or not (it's a real love or hate kind of food - I'm in the love boat). You just know if you like it or not, it's not hard. If you like it you dive in for the next spoonful and if not you screw up your face and spit it out. It's simple to know - on a fundamental level - what you like and what you don't like.

You know. Just like you know what foods you like, what movies you like, and what hobbies you enjoy. You know what job you would enjoy doing and what you wouldn't. If this is a struggle, think of what you don't like and start there - those things are not your purpose. Again, simple.

Do not mindlessly job search. Be intentional! Apply for jobs that you believe you will enjoy. That will give you the skills you need for that dream job or develop the skills that are important to you. If you hear about job opportunities that sound interesting - learn more about them. If you notice a gap in the market for a product or service - lean in and brainstorm how this comes to reality. If you are already doing something that you look forward to - do it more.

Yes, it can be hard especially in a pandemic where everyone and their dog seem to be job searching. Apply for what interests you FIRST. Apply speculatively (check out the Careers Guidance section of this blog for more information on speculative applications) for jobs you want. Then apply for jobs to develop the skills you will need for the future even if the job isn't necessarily what you'd like to do for the rest of your life.

Your next step is not the last step. Build on what interests you. Keep learning. Keep growing. If you stay committed your purpose becomes clear.

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