Award winning American poet, Mary Oliver, once wrote, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” I love this line from her poem, “The Summer Day”, as it invites introspection and calls us to live our lives on purpose. If we apply this to our work lives, this can be a daunting question and one that leaves us overwhelmed with selecting the “right” career. As children, we begin to demonstrate areas of strength as we grow. Well-intentioned parents, teachers, friends and others may encourage us to become a nurse or teacher if we excel at helping others, an engineer or accountant if we have strong math skills, or an artist or musician if we display a creative streak. You can see the pattern and may have experienced it yourself. Yet, this linear path can sometimes lead us astray. Simply because we are good at something doesn’t necessarily mean that it will bring us the career fulfillment we desire. There is something deeper we must explore to be fully engaged in our work.
Employee Engagement Survey Data
The 2020 Gallup Study indicated that, while employee engagement has risen slightly, to 36% in the U.S., we still have 64% of the workforce in a state of disengagement. 51% of those studied are not engaged, which means that they don’t have much of a connection to the work that they are doing and are likely to do the bare minimum in their roles. 13% of those studied are actively disengaged which means that they resent their jobs and have a tendency to complain to those around them and impact the morale of co-workers. Do you find yourself among the 64% who are disengaged? While there are multiple factors that impact employee engagement, there is something that you can do to begin to shift the tide and help you get on track.
A Key Question
A key question to ask that will guide you toward your career fulfillment is “Why?”
- What is the “why” behind everything you do – your purpose?
I truly believe that each of us has a purpose in life. Finding that purpose allows us to stay aligned, doing what we love while accomplishing things that are meaningful to us. Your level of happiness will always tell you when you are aligned with your purpose and when you’re not.
To help you get started, here is a resource that will help you to explore your passion and purpose. Click here to read Jack Canfield’s 10 Life Purpose Tips. As a Canfield Certified Trainer in the Success Principles, I have seen the positive impact on clients when they are able to tap into their purpose and express it in the world, both through their work and in their lives in general.
If you are feeling less than fulfilled by your work, I invite you to follow the 10 tips and take responsibility for creating a career that you love. You might find creative ways to express your purpose in your current role or you may find that your purpose exploration starts you down an entirely new path. Whatever your path forward, remember that it’s up to you to take the first step. No one cares more about your career than you. As Mary Oliver wrote, “You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.”
About the Author: Sherry Dutra is a Talent Development, Career and Retirement Coach and Facilitator who works with corporate leaders in small to mid-size businesses, across the span of their careers. She helps them to accelerate business outcomes and team performance, navigate their own career path, and transition to retirement with ease using proven methodologies and strategies that get results. If you would like to uncover and address hidden challenges that may be sabotaging your success, leverage your strengths, and accelerate your progress toward the results you desire, contact Sherry for a complimentary consultation.