Purpose//

How Working on a New Concept Connects You to Your Calling.

This is the second in a six-part series on “Purpose Sparks.” Including one or more of these criteria in your job will get you closer to your purpose through work. This week’s Purpose Spark is ‘Emerging Concept.’

Vale Zmeykov via Unsplash
Vale Zmeykov via Unsplash

Finding one’s purpose does not come as a lightning bolt revelation.

Uncovering our true calling is a journey of following breadcrumbs over many years. Of course, most of us don’t have years to simply explore. Luckily, shortcuts exist.

Working at a company focused on an emerging concept is one avenue to discovering new clues about our purpose. An emerging concept is broader than the idea of a tech startup. It can be a company creating a new energy drink, an organization inventing a new way to serve people in need, or a new way to use an old resource (reusable straws, anyone?).

When you work on an emerging concept you inevitably work outside your comfort zone.

Anytime we’re doing this, we get to know ourselves a little bit better. Here in lies the connection between emerging concept and purpose. To know our purpose we need to dig out from all the fears, cultural baggage, and externally defined expectations of success we’ve buried ourselves under and get to the heart of who we are. All of this requires a growing confidence in working in the unknown.

Building this confidence fosters resilience — a key element of the growth mindset. With this mindset, we naturally bounce back from failure and setback, rather than retreat from it. And when we work on something new — particularly in a big group — we tend to have leaders and colleagues around us that are ok with failure, helping us build our resilience muscle as well.

When we work on something new, there is renewal — of our body, mind, and soul — which is critical to our growth. Working on something “outside the box” gives us new meaning.

Here are five specific ways working on an emerging concept at work can get us closer to our purpose:

  1. The kaleidoscope effect: If you’re working towards a new vision or concept, then you can start to see the world through a different lens. You’ll see challenges and opportunities from a perspective that may spark new ideas for you.
  2. Curiosity hunt: Immersing ourselves in new concepts promises to spark new curiosities. New curiosities help us explore things about ourselves that are sometimes hidden.
  3. Unstuck by change: To work on something new is to be excited about change. This helps us realize that through change we’ll uncover our calling. It lessens our fears and gets us moving in new ways.
  4. Network reshuffle: Those attracted to working on something new are often risk takers, or collaborators, or entrepreneurs — adding them into your orbit will surely impact your thinking.
  5. Voicing values: New concepts invite new and important conversations — about ethics — related to the product or technology, its impact, your values related to its use, and more. We should always be having these conversations to get closer to our authentic selves.

Doing something new challenges our beliefs about what we can and cannot do.

Find an opportunity to fill your day job focused on an emerging concept and clues about your purpose will appear everywhere. As you gather these clues, check out our weekly Top 10 Purposeful Jobs listings for inspirational people-facing jobs and learn more about the other five “Purpose Sparks” at work in our next article in this series.

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