Want to be happy at work? Find your two P’s – Purpose and Passion!

A friend came to me wanting to talk about making a career change.  He had been in his current field for a while and he didn’t particularly care for the company he was working for, he felt the field was moving in a bad direction, he wasn’t being compensated according to the market, etc.  When I asked him what career(s) he was considering, he named a few.  When I asked why he was thinking about those specific areas, he gave reasonable, practical answers:

1. Pay scales in line with what he’s currently making

2. Opportunities with well-known and respected companies

3. Possibilities for work/life balance and flexible scheduling

4. Current education and experience should transfer and allow him to be successful

My response was – that’s all great but what do you actually want to be doing in your career?  What fills your cup?  Where’s your passion?  What did you want to be when you were a kid? 

Employee engagement is a hot topic these days.  Attracting and retaining top talent is vital for all organizations.  We want employees to be happy at work.  But a lot of employees are looking for happiness in the wrong places – compensation, benefits, company brand/identity, culture.  All of these things are important in creating a great employment experience.  But it is possible to have a nice salary, great perks, competitive benefits, a fun culture, and still be miserable.  Why?  Because employees are not focusing enough on purpose and passion.

When was the last time you explored your true purpose and passion?  Are you doing what you really want to be doing? 

I was at a crossroads in my career last year.  I had made two changes in two years and I still wasn’t happy.  It took a deep conversation in the car with my husband to realize that my passion was in outsourcing; it was time to get back to it.  That talk took place in September, I made a change in October, and I’ll celebrate my one-year next month.  I am so happy in my work and can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am living my passion and fulfilling my purpose. 

We used to say work ‘should’ be more than a paycheck and benefits; I say now work has to be more.  Life is too short for it not to be. 

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