A few years ago, I attended a Toastmasters meeting. Toastmasters International is an organization that teaches its members communication and leadership skills. The topic for the meeting was “jobs and careers.” The question was, “If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?” Some interesting answers were:
“I would be the baseball commissioner and ensure that there is no corruption or idolization of players. The fans would be the number one priority.”
“I would own a resort – the job would feel like an eternal vacation, where I could eat and drink all day, while meeting friendly people from all over the world.”
The person posing the questions then said something very interesting: “If you had what you considered the ideal job, wouldn’t it just become “work” after a while? The people at the resort would start getting on your nerves and the administrative tasks would become daunting. Keeping baseball players in check and dealing with the bureaucracy of the league would become overwhelming.” She was right. In looking for the perfect job, you will realize that what starts out as an ideal pursuit can become as paralyzing and mundane as what you may be doing now.
There is no perfect job, but you can make your current job fulfilling, by using several proven techniques. The most effective is to connect everything you do to the mission of your team or organization. This will give you purpose; without purpose, not only will your job be boring, but you will not feel a sense of accomplishment when you leave work at the end of the day. Have you ever left work extremely tired, but wondered what you have actually accomplished? Clearing out your email inbox is not an accomplishment.
Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl said: “Happiness cannot be attained by wanting to be happy; it must come as the unintended consequence of working for something greater than oneself.” When you look for your purpose, you are answering the question, “What am I working for?” The answer to this question often lies in the mission or vision of your company or organization. If you stay laser focused on your mission and ensure that the majority of your actions are taken to accomplish or stay true to that mission, not only will you find fulfillment, but you will avoid working on tasks that have little or no relevance to moving your business forward. You will be working for something greater than a mere paycheck.
While no job in the world is perfect, you can make the most of your current job by understanding your purpose. What are you working for?