It's week six of my 'self awareness' series. Welcome back.
So far in this series we've talked about:
- Understanding your values and vision to get more done
- Perfectionism and the importance of knowing your passions and priorities
- How your thinking affects your mood
- Your personality and why it's complicated.
Today I've got an exercise for you that will shine a spotlight on your work purpose.
But what is a work purpose?
I'm not sure there is a formal definition but this description of a vocation sums it up for me:
Vocation: a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation
It's a job, a profession, a means of making money or a way of life that fits. It fits your interests, your strengths, your lifestyle and your life.
So here's a little exercise that might help you to get clearer about your vocation or work purpose. Are you ready? Let's go.
Find Your Work Purpose Exercise
I'd like you to think about your working life over the last 2-3 years (longer, if need be). What were the two most memorable and satisfying projects, tasks, activities or events that you undertook over that period? What tasks were you doing? What skills were you using? Who were you interacting with? Write about it using the prompts below. (If it helps, write it in the comments section and tell me all about it, or email me, I'd love to hear about it and might be able to give you a bit of extra coaching).
1. Describe the task
2. Describe the environment
3. Describe who you were with (if anyone)
4. Describe how it made you feel
5. Rate your motivation and energy on a scale of one to five (one = not at all motivated, five = highly motivated and engaged)
One of my lovely Find Your Groove course participants from last year completed this exercise for me. She described two projects that she had worked on in her time in Communications, prior to having her children. She wrote about each project separately, telling me that she had to liaise with a number of different groups and pull a whole lot of information together and get everyone on side in order to meet a big launch date deadline.
Then she wrote:
'It's only while typing this that I've seen the similarities in the situations! I think I like the whole pulling together of information and ideas and producing something that's needed or useful. And then moving onto the next thing as I do get bored quite easily.'
Can you see patterns, themes or similarities in your situations? Is there an 'A ha!' moment in there about the types of work or projects or people that you most like? Does this give you a glimpse into your work purpose?
I do this exercise regularly to learn more about what I love to do and why - and then I try to do more of it. Let me know what you think. Does it help you?