Why You Should Work For A Purpose

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Did you know that we would spend about 80,000 hours of our lives working, which is one-third of our average lifespan? Dedicating that big part of your life to something is a huge deal which is why it becomes crucial to also connect your work to something bigger than just a job but a purpose.

Having worked with the world’s largest youth-led organization – AIESEC for 5 years and now being employed at one of the biggest healthcare providers in the world, I can share with you two key reasons why you should work for a purpose

Working with like-minded people.

A 2017 study shows that opposites DON’T attract. Think about you and your best friend or your significant other, there is a good chance that both of you share similar values, viewpoints, interests, thought processes, and mentalities. Thus, a key consideration before applying to any company is to gauge whether your values and moral compass align with the company’s. 

Take International SOS as an example, the company’s purpose is to be the world’s leading medical and security risk services company. Through providing workforce risk mitigation solutions, International SOS takes in 4.1 million assistance calls, servicing 11,000 clients globally across 1000 locations in 90 countries. 

If you are passionate about helping others, interested in making a difference through risk mitigation in the medical and security industry, it would be a good idea to consider working in International SOS because when you are aligned with the company’s purpose through the work that you do, you surround yourself with people that share your values and beliefs that empower you to achieve more. 

This is even more important, especially when the world and future outlook has been seriously impacted by the global pandemic. So what can we do?

COVID-19 may have temporarily affected the job outlook and global economy, and as potential job seekers or someone who has recently lost their job, the future may look bleak, but there will always be new opportunities in every risk and change. 

International SOS recently hosted a webinar with AIESEC discussing how COVID-19 has affected our assumptions towards the future of job, and how you can overcome it. Find out more here. 

To summarize, you should focus on improving your transferrable hard skills and soft skills.

There are 3 general areas that you can focus on, namely tech-savviness, problem-solving, and mental resilience. 

In light of the global efforts to contain the pandemic, social distancing and other public health measures have been instrumental in accelerating the usage of technology within the workforce. Both programming and digital creatives competencies such as coding and social media marketing will observe a huge increase in demand. 

Problem-solving: With growing uncertainties and volatilities of the global economies, companies will face increasing challenges in managing their operations. Thus, focusing on improving your skills in critical thinking, adaptability, data literacy, decision making, etc. will improve your overall value in solving work-related challenges. 

Mental resilience: With growing mental stress and social isolation, learning how to have stronger mental resilience is key to maintaining a healthy state of mind. Fostering strong self -awareness and empathy towards others will prove to be useful in regulating our mental health to cope with this pandemic. 

Passion fades, purpose stays.

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” This is true to a certain extent. Most people start doing something because they enjoy a certain aspect of the work, but without an everlasting purpose – the feeling of being a part of something bigger and contributing to it – passion will eventually fade away. Working for a purpose, therefore, acts as an anchor that will hold your passion in place and provide a clear motivation for you to grind through the unfavorable part of your work. 

To start, figure out what motivates you, what would you like to be involved in, what do you want to improve on, and what you are good at. A healthy relationship between you and your work is established only when you can find the right balance between giving and taking. 

It doesn’t need to be a life plan or a 10-year career goal, it just needs to be as simple as “I want to be in engineering, and I am passionate in the climate change industry.” Start small, take one step, and plan two steps ahead. 

A good methodology to consider is the Japanese philosophy of life, Ikigai to help with enhancing your self-awareness. If you are clear on your purpose, nothing can get in the way between you and a satisfying career path.

When the time eventually comes for you to make your career choice, ask yourself this question: What is my WHY?

Blog written by Jack Low, AIESEC Global Coordinator – International SOS


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