3 Steps to Take If Your Work Isn't Aligned with Your PurposeBy Homaira Kabir
Somewhere in midlife (and often before that), people begin to question some of the important aspects of their lives. Some question their romantic relationships. Some realize the importance of looking after their health and vitality.
But for the most part, people begin to wonder about their purpose. They wonder whether they are in the right profession, whether their work is meaningful, whether they are living the life they truly desire. This need to belong to something larger than a job or even a career is often initiated by a gnawing feeling of emptiness or joylessness. The search feels energizing when we are in our 20s, and more desperate as the years go on.
In my work as a positive psychology coach, I often meet clients at this crossroads of their lives. Some of them feel lost in the transient stage and need help figuring out their purpose for the journey forward. This is often an energizing search that builds on strengths of curiosity, of hope, and of connecting back to their authentic expression. However, many others come to me because they know what they want to do with their lives, but are stuck in the gap of a job or career that’s misaligned with their calling. They're feeling frustrated and unhappy, and wondering whether they should opt out of their organizations or the workforce altogether.
If you relate to some of this, here's what you need to know. A job that's perfectly aligned with your authentic expression is unlikely to exist—and you may be in for a long and discouraging wait. It's up to you to build coherence between your job and your purpose, so that your work permeates your life with a sense of meaning.
First Line of Action: Craft Your Job
Extensive research on job-crafting from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business shows that when people use their strengths at work and mold their jobs to fit with their authentic expression, not only do they perform better, but they also find greater joy in what they do. Personally, on days when writing feels like a chore and fails to ener