Of all the things that influence how much you love your job, from compensation, and your manager, to your commute, benefits package, or seating arrangement, I believe there is one thing that supersedes them all.
The number one factor influencing how much you love your job is whether or not you have purpose.
When you have a monotonous job, it’s hard to see the big picture. Reminding yourself that doing your paperwork, sending your emails, and responding to your phone calls has any significant influence. And if you’re waiting for your peers to sit down and bestow some inspiration on you, you’re probably in for a long wait… they probably hate their job as much as you do.
It’s even more rare to find a boss who pants a clear picture for his team. Few leaders can show each member his/her role, and the importance of their individual contributions.
Since you can’t rely on others to give you purpose, it’s paramount to find ways to give yourself purpose! If you’re waiting for your boss, or your coworker, or your friend, or your spouse to explain to you all of the “why’s,” you are in for a long wait.
Here are some questions I ask myself regularly that have helped me create my own value, purpose, and fulfillment at work. Hopefully they’ll work for you too:
- "How can I help everyone around me have a better day today?"
- "What can I do today to make a personal success a team success?"
- "How can I empower someone to do more of what they love?"
- "What can I do to take away pain from my manager/my coworkers/people who report to me?"
- "What tradition can I start that will help improve the company culture?"
At my last company, I started sending out an email at the end of every week spotlighting a coworkers who had gone above and beyond to help a client or a fellow coworker.
Not only was it fun for me to constantly be looking for, and catching my friends doing remarkable stuff, but my little notes quickly became the highlight of the office on Friday afternoons. It was something that everyone could enjoy and be inspired by, and it only took 10 minutes out of my day… not to mention, it helped build some of my most meaningful friendships.
If you’re focused on yourself, your work, and your problems, you will not be happy. Selfishness is never (nor has it ever been) happiness.
When you start to look at the team around you, and create a habit of constantly lifting them up, you can’t help but be lifted up yourself.
Your purpose will come when you realize it’s not about you.