Purpose. Beyond the Worthy Why

Accidentally tuning in to US Power Lunch a few weeks ago, a snazzy new job title blipped on my radar. Chief Purpose Officer. Now that set the old grey matter a-buzzing I can tell you.

Putting aside my thoughts on job title scrabble and my opinions on the responsibility for organisational vision, mission and social value, it was the word ‘purpose’ itself that inspired me to write this piece.

The basics

Finding a basic definition of ‘purpose’ was easy and just a few clicks away…

“…the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists”

“…a person’s sense of resolve or determination”

Untangling the more recent associations of ‘purpose’ with worthiness and goodness is a touch more complicated.

Under the spotlight

Having a purpose in life, to your choices, in your career have benefit. There is no denying that and I’m an advocate and champion.

What concerns me is that when you over-egg the worthiness factor it can inadvertently become a stick to beat yourself with. And let’s face it, no-one needs to add to their personal stick collection at the moment.

Understanding your ‘why?’, your reasons, your motivators are key factors in your career agility mix.

Making purposeful choices based on more than a whim add momentum to your career adventure.

And your why; your purpose is up to you.

If it’s to ‘make a mountain of money piled up to your chin’ (blatant Eurthymics reference) then go for it. It’s your career.

If your why; your purpose is to save the planet then that’s great.

If your why; your purpose is to have enough time spare to be with your family or learn to ride a unicycle then that’s great too.

There are no worthiness or goodness scales assigned to the purpose aspect of your career mix.

Money, possessions, experience to springboard into something else, more free time, short-term jobs to pay the bills, are all valid ‘whys’.

And remember…

  • Your career is unique to you; your purpose is too. Think about what matters to your today, tomorrow and into the future.
  • Take other people’s perceived worthiness levels at face value. Things aren’t always what they seem. Plus being overly concerned about what others think is a career energy drainer.
  • Change is a constant factor in your career adventure so keep an eye on your purpose. Is it still what you want? Have you changed too? Is it time for a re-set?

Everyone is different. Everyone’s career adventure is different. Everyone’s purpose is different and changes along the way.

Use your ‘whys’ as motivators and momentum givers it’s much more fun and rewarding 😊


And if you need help with your purpose or any other career conundrum please drop me a line or join us in the Re-energising Your Career Hub for impartial, practical input.

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