Do you feel a sense of purpose in your job?
Purpose is a key component to doing work you love. Connecting to a sense of purpose in what you do during your working hours can help you feel more fulfilled, engaged, and happier.
But it’s not always so easy to find that purpose.
People spend countless hours and dollars seeking their purpose — reading self-help books, hiring coaches, following gurus.
But the only real way to discover it is to start with self-reflection.
Connecting the dots
Finding your purpose at work is a matter of connecting your gifts and passions to something that serves the world.
A Japanese concept of Ikigai means “a reason for being.”
Ikigai is used to indicate the source of one’s value in life — or in other words, one’s purpose.
When you combine what you love + what you’re good at + what the world needs + what you can be paid for, you connect your purpose to your livelihood.
10 questions to help you connect to your purpose
The first step in connecting your purpose to your work is to get clear on what brings you joy, meaning and fulfillment.
Start by asking yourself these 10 questions.
- What are my gifts and talents?
- What are my true passions?
- If I could do anything and get paid, what would it be?
- In what parts of my work do I totally lose track of time?
- What are my areas of expertise?
- What strengths do I bring to any job?
- What have people told me they admire about my work?
- What is most important to me in my work?
- What type of impact do I want to have through my work?
- Why is it important for me to have that impact?
You’ll likely find common themes in your answers which can help you get closer to understanding your gifts and passions and honing in on your purpose.
Aligning who you are and what you do
In order to connect your purpose to your work, consider to what extent your current job allows you to express the gifts and talents you mentioned in the questions above.
How aligned is your current job to your purpose?
If the answer is “not at all,” you have a few choices to make.
- You identify how you might use more of your gifts and talents at your current job or company.
- You seek a new opportunity that allows you to express more of your purpose.
- You start a side gig or business that honors your purpose in a way your current role does not.
Whether you decide to seek new opportunities or remain at your current job, you get to decide the role purpose plays in your career.
When you find the sweet spot between what you love and where you have impact, you find a sense of purpose. And when you can get paid for that contribution and serve the world, you’ve connected your purpose to your work.