How you can have purpose when your job isn’t your passion
If you’re reading this, I feel you. I spent a lot of days thinking ‘what’s the point’. We spend a serious amount of time at work, somewhere in the region of 1,800 hours a year, and if you spend the majority of that time wishing you weren’t there, it’s going to have a big impact on your life. Read on and ask yourself the following...
I have two questions for you:
1. Do you want to stay in your job/career?
2. Is it possible to make time for something new?
If the answer to number 1 is ‘yes’ or ‘I have to stay in my job right now’, then have a think about these:
What do you love about your job?
Can you do more of it?
What do you need to enjoy your work more? Ask for those things.
What else are you passionate about?
Is there a way to bring any of those things into your current job?
What skills are you gaining?
How will what you do now help you in the future?
Sometimes, work will mean you have to do things you don’t want to do. But if your work has NOTHING you want to do, you definitely need to sit down with yourself and ask what can be done. Being employed means getting paid for providing a service – this does not mean you can’t ask for things. Employers don’t want you to hate your job. They’re probably actively looking for ways to help you enjoy it more! Get involved in that. Tell them what would make you happy and more productive. A happy employee does more work than an unhappy one.
Once you’ve answered the above, or if you feel that you won’t be able to find purpose in your job, answer question 2. Have a think as to whether there is something you can do outside of work to fill that gap.
Create boundaries at work which give you more time to do what you love
Give back to your local community
Experiment with new passion projects
Turn a hobby into a side hustle
Connect with people who like the things you do
These things will fill up your cup and help you to feel like your job isn’t your entire life. It can be hard when you feel that the only way to bring value as an employee is by working all hours of the day and night. Believe me, I’ve been there. The work you do when you are tired, frustrated and stressed will be lower quality. There is a belief flying around that the only way to be successful is to work really damn hard. And yes, hard work is a factor in success, but so is sleep, relaxation and time with your friends and family. If you worked so much that you couldn’t see your loved ones, would you really feel successful at all?
If the answer to number 1 is ‘no’ you don’t want to stay in your job, then now is the time to start making moves! And let me just say, there is nothing to be ashamed about if you’ve decided you can’t hack your chosen career anymore. I remember feeling bad about not being able to keep up, not dealing with the stress well, and thinking my max capacity wasn’t good enough.
You’re allowed to change your mind. You’re allowed to change as a person and subsequently realise that the path you’ve put yourself on is no longer the right one.
I remember worrying that everyone will think I’ve failed, and that was so completely untrue. If anything, people have thought I am even more brave for taking the leap. They are supportive and they celebrate my wins with me. They let me be myself.
The first thing I did when I decided I wanted something new was incredibly simple. I wrote a list of all the jobs I could imagine myself doing & enjoying. I googled something like ‘list of all jobs’ and picked out the ones that leapt out at me. I had a list as long as my arm! Some jobs were ones that I could realistically side-step into, and others were completely new. It helped me to realise I wasn’t stuck. I had options. And that was the first step into the rest of my life.
Wherever you’re at, you deserve to feel like your life has meaning, because it does. Sometimes the stars don’t align the first time and you have to keep working on getting it right. But when it’s right, magic can happen.