Mary is a 50-year-old woman with a successful 30-year career within a large manufacturing company.
She came up to chat with me after hearing my talk on Purpose where I’d shared the famous Japanese ‘ikigai’ Purpose model (below). “I’m stuck in a profession. I’m good at what I do, I get paid well for it but I’m bored and there’s nowhere for me to go in my company,” she sighed. “I just can’t do this job for another 10 years until I retire. It will kill me – literally. I want to do work that I love and that is needed in the world so I’ve been looking for other jobs.”
A few questions allowed me to establish that outside of the workplace, Mary is a passionate environmentalist. She’s been studying environmental issues, radically reducing her own footprint, organizing community clean-ups and campaigning for greater recycling initiatives in her neighborhood. She’s been investigating the potential to work for a not-for-profit in this area or with a company that’s more committed to the environment.
While many companies are spending big bucks on redefining the purpose of the organization and rolling out associated company-wide initiatives, they’re overlooking the new frontier of purpose – BYO Purpose – this is where people like Mary are empowered to bring their own why to work.
Imagine if Mary were to pitch her own Purpose project to her leaders, to bring that very thing she’s passionate about outside of work (aka the environment) right into her workplace? The company gets to keep a valued employee while Mary gets to fulfill her highest potential, be truly happy at work and help the company improve its environmental impact.
I wrote The Purpose Project for Mary and for the millions of people like her. I don’t want them to flee their current workplace without first attempting to bring their own why to work. I also wrote it for Mary’s leaders so they may consider how to lead with Purpose – at a personal level and company-wide level.
What if we all just started right where we are to bring that thing we love most and the world needs, right into our current workplace? Wouldn’t that be something?
A great way to get started on Purpose is to put The Purpose Project in the hands of your people in search of meaning and happiness at work. Why not consider booking Carolyn to speak at your next event or to host a Lunch ‘n Learn workshop with your team?
If not you, who? If not now, when?
This article was written and kindly provided by Carolyn Tate.