Since I started working on Repurpose Your Purpose, I heard from many people who are stuck in jobs they don’t like and cannot find a different position that will fulfill them, both intellectually and financially. Does it sound familiar? Do you keep finding jobs that expect you to know everything without offering any training, positions that are woefully underpaid, or companies that require you to work over 50 hours a week? Or maybe you are stuck in a job that makes you feel a bit more unhappy every day, but try as hard as you might, you cannot find anything better.
People have been offering all sorts of reasons for this: not enough people have the STEM skills required by the modern workplace, millennials want too much and feel entitled, robots are taking over and making professions obsolete, too many people have college degrees and now you need a Master’s degree to get a good job, university programs are obsolete, and on and on and on. All of these reasons might be true in some cases, but they are not why your job sucks.
It’s so hard to find a job you like because we live in a society that encourages us to think only about ourselves. In other words, some people are starting companies and creating jobs so that they individually can make lots of money, and damn everyone else. Can I outsource my IT to another country and pay less? Check. Can I pay minimum wage even though I know it is not enough for someone to have a decent life? Check. Can I pay my top managers six figures, but refuse to offer health insurance to lower level employees? Check. Can I start my own business and use unpaid interns to get it going? Check. Can I make lots of money while my team is unhappy and quitting often – but I get to keep my job? Check. Can I disrupt an entire industry, offer high salaries to the small group of people helping me disrupt it, and leave thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people without pay? Check.
This is why you don’t have a job you like. You cannot find it, because many companies could care less about whether you like your job, make enough money to live off your salary, get to spend time with your kids, or feel safe.
And you know what? These companies are run by people…people just like you and me. Often job seekers get very bitter by the lack of support they receive and fall into the same mentality: what’s in it for me? Unfortunately, that’s the absolute wrong mindset to change career – the exact same mindset that prevents you from being fulfilled at work. Look in the mirror: why are you reading this blog? Are you looking for a quick way to make six figures? Are you looking for tips on how to work only 4 hours a week, while you pay someone as little as you can to do the work? Are you constantly thinking about how you can get paid more without also thinking of how you can deliver more value? If you cannot find a job you like, and all you do is worry about yourself, it’s time to stop and consider you are not so different after all from those companies and bosses you love to hate… If you complain about how much you get paid without understanding or worrying about your colleagues’ pay or your company’s needs, you are playing the same game.
There is another way.
Do you really want to Repurpose Your Purpose and find a career you love? Find what you love to do AND how you can serve others, look into what business you’d like to run AND how it would contribute to your community, find ways to be appreciated and financially rewarded for your hard work AND start paying others what they are worth, look for a job to take care of yourself AND contribute to your new workplace.
The more we get down and negative, focusing on what we are not getting, and how other people are not supportive, the more we end up closing up and defaulting to a similar attitude. The good news is that many people are starting companies and creating jobs to help their communities, do good, and offer fulfillment to their employees. Just tonight, as I am writing this post, I talked to a friend of mine who got a new job. I checked in to see how it was going, and she told me she loves her new position because the entire company values work life balance. She stayed a few minutes after 6 pm, and her boss stopped by to ask her if she had been given too much to do – he was worried she was not taking care of herself and going home at a decent time! There are many companies and bosses who are caring, generous, and out to make a difference. They create non-profits, for profits, socially responsible organizations, tech companies, they lead teams within corporations, they are everywhere. They understand that having a team that is happy is better for business, they get that business doesn’t have to be only about profit, it can be about profits AND doing good. And these companies are hiring as well as the soul sucking ones. But here’s the catch: the good companies are looking for a good fit, someone who has a bigger sense of purpose, and will contribute to their caring culture. Could you fit in?
Gandhi famously said “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” This is probably one of the most shared and famous quotes of all times, and yet I think lots of us got so used to hearing it, we forgot what it means. It means that if you want to live in a world where you are appreciated and taken care of at work, you have to start by appreciating and taking care of those who work or might work with you, including your boss. I know it’s tough out there, and I know that if you are reading this blog you probably feel unfulfilled, and might be experiencing low self esteem, or a sense of hopelessness. But there is a way out: it goes through both what you need and what the world needs. The journey starts with opening yourself up to caring for more than yourself: do you want to have a small business? Start shopping at small businesses. Do you want to lead a team? Start helping your neighbors, or your current team. Do you want to get a job at a company that takes care of its employees? Start thinking about how you could contribute to that caring culture.
Helping shift from an individualistic mindset, to a more community-based approach is why I have created a group program for career changers in Los Angeles. While I am available for one on one coaching, if you live in LA, and you are serious about changing careers, I invite you to join Repurpose Your Purpose’s group training in August. Surrounded by like-minded people, you’ll be able to shift your inner and outer game faster and more effectively.
The world is changing: what world do you want to live in? Start building a world that works for you and others, that’s what is going to help you find a job that is fulfilling and aligned with your purpose.