Most of us believe that a sense of purpose is necessary to be happy in the workplace. And this is largely true. If we feel that we are making a difference to the world somehow, it makes us happier and more productive in the long run. And “making a difference” can be interpreted in many ways, from helping people individually to helping small businesses get more customers. Many things, therefore, can be said to make a difference.
Feelings of Purposelessness
Many of us feel that we don’t have a sense of purpose in the workplace. Our work becomes routine or monotonous after a while. And even if we are in a caregiving profession, we might feel like we’re not really making a difference. If we’re working in a corporate job, we might feel like we have become “corporate slaves” who are doing everything to benefit the corporation and nothing much to benefit ourselves or others. So it’s necessary to bring back our sense of purpose in the workplace.
Looking at the Big Picture
Often, we don’t realize it but the tasks we’re doing are helping someone in some way. Maybe you’re just typing up a spreadsheet which will help your boss to get a certain account. It doesn’t seem like it’s particularly important work. But maybe that’s an account which will provide insurance to a small business which is providing people with an important service.
So it’s always necessary to look at the big picture. Yes, you might be a cog in a machine but maybe you are an important cog without which the machine would not function properly. And as such, you can take pride even in the small tasks which you have to do.
How Do Successful People Do It?
The truth is that the day to day work of even very important people doesn’t always involve breakthroughs or very important decisions. Even Steve Jobs likely came up with great ideas only once in a while. The rest of his time (or the time of anyone who did anything great) was spent in putting that one idea into practice. In other words, as the proverb goes, “Success is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”
So when you start to experience a sense of purposelessness, take another look at what you do. Are you helping anyone in any way? Are you providing an important service? If so, then keep working at it and try to look at the big picture because even if you are not at the level of success you want to be right now, you are sure to get there sooner or later.