The Importance of A Sense of Purpose at Work

Nature destroys anything that does not fulfill its purpose

Sense of purpose is the motivation that drives you toward a satisfying future. Hence, your sense of purpose helps you get the most of life and it helps you achieve what matters most to you. Most importantly, it feeds intrinsic motivation and it creates meaning from life. Purpose is our driver. Certainly, purpose is a fundamental component of a fulfilling life. Our purpose is to help you find yours.

Why is having a Sense of Purpose important?

Sense of purpose is the drive that motivates you toward a satisfying future. Also, it helps you to get the most from the things you do right now. In addition, sense of purpose helps you: prioritise your life; make plans; get the drive to keep going when things get tough; identify the things that truly matter if circumstances change; become more resilient as you grow; and, focus on short-term and long-term goals.

How does your Sense of Purpose affect your life?

Most of all, your sense of purpose reflects on things that give you meaning, security and pleasure, such as family, financial stability, health, nutrition, well being, personal growth and development.

What influences your Sense of Purpose?

Your beliefs, values and behaviors shape your sense of purpose. For instance, your sense of purpose can influence your friendships, health, personal and professional development, habits and hobbies.

Your sense of purpose can change as you grow, as you learn new things about the world and about yourself, as you meet new people and experience new things. What matters is knowing how to identify what matters most to you. For example, some people know from an early age exactly what they want to be. Others find out later in life.

Finding Your Sense of Purpose at Work

Whether you enjoy your work or not often comes down to how well your job supports your sense of purpose. Where you work, the role you hold, and your broader sense of purpose are subject to change. Therefore, if you want to have a balance between these three, you must not be afraid of career transitions or change itself. In fact, you must look for them. 

The Importance of Sense of Purpose

Having a sense of purpose in your life is essential to well-being. Equally important is having a sense of purpose in your role at work. You have to continually search and find the sense of purpose in your career as circumstances change. You don’t have to quit your current employer to stay engaged. Yet, sometimes you may need a fundamental change.

For instance, if you find yourself thinking “There must be more to my working life than just sitting here making money and not actually making an impact”. Perhaps, you dread going into the office on Monday morning or maybe you simply outgrew your role and you are bored to tears in your cubicle. These are all signs that you need to find a new sense of purpose in your career.

The Right Mindset

When you have a sense of purpose at work, you feel passionate, innovative, and committed. Your outward-looking focus is on serving the organisation. Also, your professional purpose is in balance with your personal purpose. If you feel this way, then you have a purpose mindset. However, if you are focused on advancing your career and you prioritise increasing your salary, title, team size, power or sphere of control, you have a career mindset. Finally, if you perform your duties in return for compensation and not much else, then you have a job mindset.

Spending too much time just in the career or job mindsets is destructive. You are certainly dissatisfied with your career if you spend more than 50% of your time in either the career or the job mindset. Therefore, you should seek a new role or maybe even a new company that provides you with a new sense of purpose. Avoid falling into complacency, because only focusing on job or career mindsets can harm your reputation, your likelihood of a promotion, and long-term prospects.

Finding meaning in your work
Searching for purpose

Boredom at Work

Do you experience a lack of commitment or feel underutilized at work? There are many warning signs that you might be bored at work.

You might be bored in your current role when:

  • You complete private tasks at work
  • You feel under-challenged
  • You pretend to be busy
  • You feel tired and uninterested at work
  • You find your work meaningless
  • You could complete your tasks faster than you actually do

You might be afraid of changing jobs just because you might have a salary reduction, even though you have little or no interest in your current work or employer.

Find Your Purpose

Life is short. You deserve a career where you have a sense of purpose. But you cannot leave it up to your employer or your team. It is up to you to define and enact your purpose at work.

Top ways to find purpose in working include:

  • Know what motivates you
  • Analyze your personal goals and find a company that supports them
  • Discover ways you can help make your company better
  • Assign personal performance metrics that really matter to you
  • Mentor, coach, and help others

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world.

Pattanjali Yoga Sutra