19% will go to their place of employment this week wishing they were some place else, according to research by the Society for Human Research Management. 81% of U.S. employees indicated overall satisfaction with their job in 2012. But much more alarming is a Gallup Management Journal article that claims only 29% of employees feel engaged in their work. The other 71% show up, but are psychologically absent and generally non-productive.
As one who has regularly loved my work 99% of the time over the last 34 years, I can’t quite imagine being motivated to get out of bed and go to work if I didn’t regularly experience satisfaction or engagement with my work. If only financial necessity drove my job choice or going to work at all, I think I would soon be disillusioned and discouraged.
I wonder if the stats above are at all related to a quote I read the other day by Psychologist William Marsten who said, “94% of people have no definite purpose for their lives.” I believe so. A lack of connection to what you do for a living usually reflects a lack of purpose and meaning in life.
In counseling hundreds of people over the years who are trying to discover and develop greater clarity and focus in their lives, I have noticed four attitudes toward work:
“It’s just a job.” – Show up, do the minimum and collect a check. No attachments to the role, company, ministry, associates or purpose.
“I do it for the security and stability.” – Some identification with the company and associates, but really there for the paycheck.
“It is my profession or trade.” – Provides some personal satisfaction and challenge, money is important, and identification with role and organization can be present as well.
“This is my purpose in life. I am called to do this!” – Using your gifts for the intent that the Creator has ordained while filling a need and getting paid for the service.
This is what I’ve noticed. When you understand and grasp your God-given purpose, you gain clarity and direction needed to:
- understand yourself
- recognize your gifts and your passions
- choose activities that align with your purpose
- experience real satisfaction in your job and life
When you are aware of your purpose, and you make decisions that are in line with that knowledge – you will be able to put your skills and talent to work in roles that maximize enjoyment, effectiveness and results. Are there any steps you need to take this week to make sure you are one of those experiencing purposeful work?
QUESTION: Do you have a clear picture of your God-given purpose? Can you share it in a sentence or two in the Comment section below?