Recent research conducted by John Coleman of Harvard University has revealed that your work can be more than just a job if you change how you think about it.
Coleman says “the secret is in working with a purpose.” A sewer cleaner from New York City put it succinctly: “My job is to serve the public.”
Purpose can be personal. The reason why you wake up and go to work is a purpose.
Coleman explains: “Most of us don’t have the luxury of working solely for fun. We also work to earn money and pay bills.”
Parents will work to put their children through school. That is a purpose.
According to Coleman, purpose is built, not found. Working with a sense of purpose day in and day out is an act of will that takes thoughtfulness and practice. You should look at your work as a service to those in need of it.
You may not be a doctor saving lives everyday but you do serve someone with your work. For example, “teachers can see every day the young lives they are shaping and visualising the lasting impact they may have on the young lives they touch.”
Identifying who we serve and why we are doing something is essential because we can connect our work with those we serve and the reason behind it, which will make completing the work more purposeful.
In building purpose in your work, he advises making your work a craft. He goes on to say “create the work that you want to do out of the work assigned to you, do the work you find more meaningful and worthwhile.”
“Treating your work as a craft requires you to focus on the skills needed to complete the work and dedicating yourself to perfecting those skills,” says Coleman.
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