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5 minute read

How and Why It’s Important to Find Purpose at Work

If you’re feeling uninspired in your job, perhaps discovering your purpose at work can help you remain engaged with your job duties and achieve career satisfaction.

Many of us spend most of our waking hours working. Working out a rough figure eight hours a day, five days a week, on average, we’ll be working 90,000 hours over the course of our lifetime.

Work takes away time that we could have used for other important life activities, such as spending time with our loved ones or doing things we enjoy. But of course, for most of us, work is something we can’t do without. 

Obviously, we work to earn an income. However, there may be times we question ourselves: What is the real purpose of working?

We explore this topic with sharing from employees of Mandai Wildlife Group and Homage.

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What is the purpose of work?

The intrinsic sense of fulfilment that workers get from performing work that is meaningful for them is known as purpose in work. Employees who have a sense of purpose are better able to grasp why they are engaging in a particular activity, why it is important for their professional development, and how their work affects the business or sector. 

Employees are more likely to feel motivated, fulfilled, and connected at work when they recognise the worth of their labour.

Hatice Necla Kele?, a professor in the Department of Organizational Management at Bahçe?ehir University in Istanbul, shared

“Nothing gives you more energy than a clear purpose. Without one, even just getting out of bed every morning becomes a challenge.”

Why is it important to find purpose in your work?

Finding meaning in your work will help you feel more committed, passionate, and enthusiastic about your tasks and obligations. Additionally, doing this might make it easier for you to connect your personal and professional goals, which might make you feel more content. 

There are many benefits to knowing your purpose at work, but we’ve condensed them into three key ones.

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1. Enhanced work and personal life satisfaction

Many employees gain a sense of fulfilment in their employment. While the work and personal domains are distinct from one another, personal contentment can be derived from job satisfaction.

Tiffany Ng, Homage’s marketing manager, shared that discovering purpose at work is a personal one and may take some time to process, but when she found it, it keeps her going and makes her work life more enjoyable.

Tiffany (back row, third from the right), and her colleagues found their calling in making a difference to the lives of others. (Image credit: Homage)

“Having a sense of purpose and knowing that my job makes a difference in other people’s lives is what keeps me going.”

Read More: Business Heroes: This Singaporean Helps Families Better Access Caregiving Services for Ageing Loved Ones

Nicholas Lee, assistant manager (Horticulture) at Mandai Wildlife Group, shares the same sentiments: 

“For most people, work is the place that we dedicate about one-third of our lives to, both mentally and physically. Discovering purpose at work is key to achieving a happy and fulfilling life.”

2. Better working relationships with colleagues 

Working with a group of like-minded professionals who are passionate about their work is an excellent method to build meaningful professional ties. Positive professional interactions can help you stay motivated and engaged throughout the day.

Alison Tan, senior operations manager (F&B) at Mandai Wildlife Group, shared

“While I have worked in other F&B roles in other organisations before, Mandai’s F&B team is like no other. Whether directly or indirectly, we are all able to contribute towards the protection of nature and wildlife in our various roles.”

In addition, when employees are clear and united in their professional purpose, a positive work culture is established naturally.  

Alison knows that her job indirectly contributes to the protection of wildlife. (Image credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

“Finding meaning in my work also allows me to cascade my passion to my team. This then becomes a positive cycle, especially when we have new joiners that come to Mandai Wildlife Group. They get immersed in our team culture and are inspired and motivated to do their best.” 

3. Stronger mental resilience in facing work challenges

Belief in your work may boost your ability to adapt to problems. When you find worth in your work, you may be more willing to persevere through problems, negotiate transitions, and overcome challenges.

Knowing that she is playing an important role in protecting wildlife gave Alison the motivation to be steadfast in her job. She said:

“It makes me want to go above and beyond for the company. It makes me believe in what I do and continue moving on even during the most challenging times at work.”

Working for the same company, Nicholas shares the same sentiments as Alison. He felt that knowing the purpose of his work validates the “why” questions for the tasks he undertakes at work as well as achieving the greater good. He said:

“By knowing the purpose, I am able to better visualise how performing my duties well will help to achieve greater things for the organisation and myself.”

Nicholas knows that every plant contributes to the forest. (Image credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Work is what you make of it

While your job is an important aspect of your life, it should not define your happiness in life. There is no perfect job, and you’ll definitely face ups and downs in the course of your career. So it is important to learn how to manage stress and workplace conflicts. If you need professional advice on navigating your career journey, register here to speak to a career coach!

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