About a billion people are unfulfilled at work. According to Gallup’s Global State of the Workplace survey, 85% of employees are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work, indicating that the majority of the global workforce are unhappy. They estimate a loss of $7trillion in productivity, not to mention human potential.
The cause of this global unhappiness? A misunderstanding of global proportions between those who do the work and those who manage the work known as bad performance management. According to the report: “the new workforce is looking for things like purpose, opportunities to develop, ongoing conversations, a coach rather than a boss, and a manager who leverages their strengths rather than obsessing over their weaknesses. They see work and life as interconnected, and they want their job to be a part of their identity.”
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Reforming global corporate culture is a long term solution. Most people work in the current culture with all its misgivings. What can you do in the meantime? I advise my clients against spending too much time cogitating over the ideal job, business strategy or finding their purpose and values. I was celebrating just this morning with a client over how liberating it was when she let go of needing to find her purpose. Not knowing her purpose didn’t stop her from taking a huge career leap building on her career capital and successfully launching her consulting business while having a lot more time for travel, family and creativity.
You have the power to resolve the High Achiever Paradox within - of how your old success is getting in the way of your new success. We each have unique versions of it. It takes patience and compassion to unravel the puzzle. Your willingness to resolve it will carry you through.
You can start by making some space and aligning with your zone of genius a little better. Try these two moves (together):
Stop doing things that are not aligned for you (a clue: they drain you and leave you feeling dead inside). If you can’t stop doing them, do less of them.
Do more of the things that are aligned for you (a clue: they energise you and multiply inspired ideas). If you can’t do more of these, bring a higher quality of attention to them.
The order is very important. Most people want to go through change without making space for it. That’s hard. And not very effective. It goes against the scientific evidence and wisdom traditions. You have to prioritise and drop things, even if it’s scary. Authenticity (the courage to know your truth) and integrity (the courage to live by it) can be rare but are accessible to us all.
One thing I’ve noticed is that life takes an upswing when I find myself doing something and thinking this: I would rather do this from a cardboard box than not do it. That’s how I know my purpose has revealed itself in that moment. Don’t ask what job might make you feel good and pay you well. Ask what you’re willing to fail for and do more of that.
Giving yourself permission to move forward with these principles will help guide you to a new trajectory even if it’s not fully formed yet. You don’t have to wait for a dream job or search for your purpose. Let your purpose reveal itself, as you live with authenticity and integrity. You are made of that kind of beauty.
Have a great week,
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