I won’t lie to you. I had a big cry this week. I was sitting at my desk. All of a sudden, it hit me. I don’t need to explain every detail or dive into descriptions to help anyone understand what that feels like right now. I know I’m not alone in feeling all of this *broadly gestures at the world*.
It’s a sensation of everything and nothing all at once. I don’t know what to do with this weird energy. Frankly, it makes me jealous of people with real hobbies. I was reading “Big Magic” (again, fantastic book), and she talks about kids who have a passion from birth.
Lucky little bastards.
Seriously. How lucky can you be to find your purpose before you hit puberty? Consider this. How many of you can say that you had any clue where you’d be today at 8? I wanted to be a doctor. See how that turned out?
No one tells you to start, when, where you might look, or how to find this magical thing we call purpose. We read about it in books. At some point, we assume that we can find our purpose at work.
This is where things get screwy. We go out seeking purpose. We’re met with cliches from companies that believe our purpose is solely to work hard and serve them. Employers who say it’s “just work.”
It never is. It never can be. While no one ever told us to find our purpose, we’ve always been told work was where we’d find it. That how we dress, what time we show up, and bottom-line contributions are reflections of who we are.
This all adds up. While I know most of don’t find our joy at work or even in obscene amounts of downtime (case and point: now), there’s a crisis of purpose right now as people’s jobs fundamentally shift and in some cases disappear entirely. The daily tasks that helped us feel purposeful, gone.
That “now what” feeling is what has so many of us feeling so overwhelmed. Purpose doesn’t have a roadmap or blueprint to follow. If there’s anything I’ve learned, especially in these emotional weeks, it’s this. Your purpose isn’t about work or plans at all. You don’t have to monetize or have a business case.
Purpose is about serving others.
After coronavirus is a memory, I hope the purpose of serving others stays. Throughout the hustle and bustle of to-do lists, parties, and appointments, we can’t forget that plans alone won’t help us in our pursuit of purpose. People will.
As recruiters and employers, I hope that feeling of consideration is a theme throughout the candidate experiences we create. I was really proud to see in the survey that my readers are making this investment right now, knowing that we’re working with different candidate psychology. That’s why I wrote advice for you on that topic in this week’s post.
In the meantime, take care of yourself. I’m proud of you.
Remember this: One day at a time. Sometimes, just one breath at a time. They’re both forward momentum.