Do you have an inkling that you could be contributing a meaningful purpose and you could be more deeply satisfied by your work?
In the not so distant past, you would start your career based on a few choices aligned with how you performed in standard subjects like science, math or english at school, when you were 15-17 years old.
No one ever helped you understand the unique talents you were born with. No one helped you define what you valued in life, and by extension what your career might be. No one helped you match these talents and values with an industry or sector that you were passionate about.
By tapping into your innate talents, values and passion, you’re able to make the most of opportunities that emerge throughout your life by choosing work that you’ll be most engaged with.
The more academic term for discovering your talents, values and passion is self actualisation. Maybe you have heard of this when you studied Maslow’s hierarchy of needs at some stage? Self actualisation is when you are growing and learning about yourself with purpose that aligns with a greater purpose.
When you are in this zone, you are more engaged at work and are likely to be performing at your best – which is usually (not always) associated with being paid well for what you do.
From our leadership development work within organisations that were seeking to increase talent attraction, staff engagement, creativity, productivity and satisfaction, we noticed this connection between achieving these organisational outcomes and the self-actualisation of individuals. We were asked to develop a self-leadership development program to guide people to clarify their purpose and find an answer to the question “How can I make my greatest contribution to this organisation?” (click here to read the case study).
How to have meaning and purpose?
The principle underpinning the development of this program, was that all change starts with self awareness. Through this program, people became more aware of:
- Their passion (or long term values).
- Their innate strengths and learning how to clearly define them.
- Their unconscious thinking patterns that create barriers, and understanding how they can be shifted.
- Their ideal working environment in a holistic sense (with regard to type of work, area of work, management style that liberates the best in them, team members or not, physical environment etc)
- The conversations they needed to have with those around them to co-design that future and bring it into being.
After successfully delivering the program and achieving the desired benefits within organisations, we have taken this program material and adapted into online course called Ignite…bringing your whole self to work. Here is what one of our online participants said about the process:
“I feel I could have spent hundreds on seeing a career’s counsellor and may not have come away with the same insights. There was just so much information and really well tested theories that have made positive shifts and changes for me.”
Are you inspired to align your purpose and gain greater meaning in your work?
Watch the video: Introducing Ignite: Josie McLean and Sam Wells
Further reading and resources:
- Meaning of Life
- Trombone Player Wanted (Chapter 1): Marcus Buckingham
- Bring on the learning revolution!: Ken Robinson (about a crisis of human resources)