Many people accidentally “fall” into a career they dislike, and often due to their financial situations, they remain at a job that offers nothing but despair and heartache. Interestingly, a recent survey found that over 80% of workers are disengaged from their careers. The average person spends a third of their life at work and to spend that amount of time in a job you do not like can be very disheartening.
Some people strive for success at work, and they pour 100% of themselves in their careers, but somewhere along the way, that inspirational feeling slowly fades away, leaving them feeling stuck, trapped, bored, frustrated, drained, duped or depressed. I know this feeling because, at times in my career, I’ve also experienced all these feelings.
Many times it was the toxic work environment; for example, I can remember working at a store in a mall from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm attending to the handful of customers entering the store. A day seemed like a year, and it drove a hole inside of my heart. I didn’t know why, but in hindsight that environment was the wrong one for me, and the owner of the store made the situation worse because she knew absolutely nothing about leading.
Employees who derive meaning from their work are more than three times as likely to stay with their organizations, and these employees who have found purpose in their work don’t just stick around longer. They also are more satisfied and more engaged according to the latest survey findings from the Energy Project, an engagement and performance firm that focuses on workplace fulfillment.
There’s a great story about a janitor that John F. Kennedy ran into at NASA in 1962. When the president asked him what he was doing, the man said, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.” The janitor did not see himself as a janitor, but as a critical member of the NASA team, helping to put a man on the moon.
That story stuck with me because fulfillment comes from meaning, and if you view your job only as a means to make money to pay your bills, you will not be fulfilled, and you will eventually become very miserable at work because you are not living your purpose. Research has confirmed that finding meaning and purpose is the top thing millennials look for in their work, and yet the study shows that less than 50% of people see their work as a calling.
As a result, many young people who are entering the workforce are often anxious and frustrated because they don’t feel satisfied with their job. We spend a lot of our time at work, so it is essential to get these issues right, or we could spend a lot of hours unhappy, unproductive and unfulfilled. To make sense of your life, you must find your calling (purpose), and that should fit within your job and your career. If you found your calling but stuck in a job that is far different from your purpose in life, you will never be satisfied, and it will always be a struggle to get yourself out of bed every morning.
About Gifford Thomas
I am the founder of Leadership First and the author of The Inspirational Leader, Inspire Your Team To Believe In The Impossible. At Leadership First, we are committed to publishing the very best inspirational leadership quotes and articles to inspire our 230,000+ community of leaders to believe in the impossible, while creating an environment free from toxic, fearful and intimidating leadership. We believe everyone can and should enjoy their work, but it must start with the leadership leading by example. Follow our community of leaders HERE, and let's change the leadership status quo to help inspire and motivate our leaders to make a difference and create an organization their people will love.
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