When I speak with people in organizations we work with, they tell us that they really want to make a difference; they want to do work that is meaningful and that adds value. People in the workforce are starved to find meaningful work. Managers and non-managers alike need work that gets them energized and excited to go to work every day.
What are people looking for?
Sometimes they just need to look at the work on their plate with a new lens. Here are some recommendations for finding passion in your work.
1. Search for your gold: Make a list of all the things you are working on. Commit to looking at the work from a new perspective. Whether it is repetitive business process or project work, begin to re-think your contribution. Remember, we are trying to find the “Golden Nuggets!” Rate your work based on the impact it is has on the organization. Ask yourself, “Does my contribution matter? Does it make a difference? Will it add value? Is it aligned with the key goals and objectives for the organization?” Keep searching until you sift up the “Golden Nuggets” – the work that really matter.
2. Re-Frame: Reframe your work! In other words, connect with other people inside and outside of the organization, and discuss how you can make your contribution even more meaningful to you and the business. Can you make it dramatically different? You want your work to be memorable and to leave a legacy of excellence.
3. Influence and Sell. The easiest way to get excited about what you do is to sell it to someone else. That forces us to think about what is important about the the work itself, and why it matters. Sit down and develop a compelling one minute pitch that highlights the benefits of your contribution and why you are so passionate about it.. If you can’t get excited about your own work, neither will anyone else! Practice the pitch with a friend. Once you feel comfortable with it, share the pitch with someone who understands nothing about what you do. This will allow you to determine how clear your pitch is.
Lastly, refine your pitch, print it out (in color), and put it in a visible place to remind you of why you and your work really matter.
4. Celebrate: As you move along in life, find little wins to celebrate along the way. Take time to notice what your peers and co-workers are doing, and make it a point to acknowledge their achievements. When we do something good for someone else, not only do we feel better, but we have also made the day of someone else. Adding joy to another’s life will add joy to yours. Work doesn’t have to be mundane and boring. We just have to take the time to look at where and how we are spending our time. Are we working on the “Golden Nuggets,” or are we working on golden flecks…the little stuff? The work we produce can have a big impact on our attitudes. Search to find the “Golden Nuggets,” get excited about work again, and celebrate and enjoy life and work!