Connect with Your Heart Instead of Your Wallet: Finding a Fulfilling Job
Of course, it is a different story when food has to be put on the table very quickly, but when looking for a job, it is wise to seek a fulfilling job that allows you to connect with your heart instead of focusing solely on your wallet.
After all, chances are you will spend more time there than with your partner or friends. Let’s face it, you don’t choose your loved ones based on their bank account either, right?
I remember a time back when my business partner hired someone to help us with an extensive client. His name was Kenny B. He was a great guy – very friendly, competent, and the client loved him. Yet there was no match between him and our business.
For Kenny, his status and income were most important. He didn’t care about where he worked or how to work, as long as he met his financial and status requirements. You could sense this in his attitude and way of working, and it made working together uncomfortable for both of us.
It was because while Kenny loved his profession, his heart was not connected to our company culture and the company itself. For him, it was just a job, while for most of us, it was a passion.
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Why do employees go to work somewhere?
The motives behind why people choose a particular job can be diverse, and these even vary by country and continent. However, there is a noticeable shift in the reasons why people choose a specific company.
To my surprise, salary, and secondary benefits, along with career development and job security, still remain the top priorities for most employees.
Fortunately, it does become increasingly important for employees to have flexible working hours, the ability to work from home, and a healthy work-life balance. This is certainly progress, but in my opinion not enough.
While this may not apply to every country, I notice, for example, when I walk into a café for a cup of coffee or a meal, that I rarely encounter genuinely friendly service. And I am not just referring here to young students working on the side, but also to the elderly who have sometimes worked there for years.
They often look with a look that gives the impression that they do not care at all whether I am there as a customer or not. I also encounter this phenomenon in the retail sector and other industries. Even a robot would probably have more expression in the near future.
Why culture and a meaningful purpose matter when looking for a job
When I collaborate with someone or work for someone, I find it essential that I can connect with their purposeful work and values. If the primary motivation is simply to amass more money, I prefer to pass up that opportunity.
I have found that when I can make that connection with a meaningful purpose, I automatically and effortlessly go that extra mile. Because of the commitment and shared belief in a common meaningful mission, I rarely experience stress or work pressure, even when there is a tight deadline or something does not go according to plan.
I have also always seen this attitude reflected in my employees and several surveys confirm this. When employees can connect and connect with the company’s culture and their meaningful purpose, there is less absenteeism, more innovation, less stress, and more job satisfaction.
A meaningful purpose also helps create a strong bond between employees, as they work together for a higher purpose beyond just their individual performance or status. This can foster stronger team dynamics and improve collaboration, ultimately leading to better business results.
Contributing to a bigger picture that you yourself are part of
A meaningful purpose is the feeling that you are contributing to a bigger picture that you yourself are part of. So why would you choose to work for a company that is purely focused on financial gain for a fraction more salary? That is something I have never been able to grasp.
It also turns out that when you work within an organization where you can contribute wholeheartedly to both economic growth and realizing their meaningful purpose, you progress much faster both professionally and privately.
Of course, you can keep hopping around from job to job, but if your growth is only limited to increasing your professional knowledge, you will develop yourself much more slowly than when you are part of a team that strives collectively towards a shared meaningful purpose.
There are numerous benefits to being truly connected to the organization you work for:
Less stress and fatigue: You keep more energy for fun things and to learn new things.
A sense of fulfillment every day: Your self-esteem grows and you can unleash and show more of your creativity.
More intense interaction: Working together on one common goal leads to more interaction, and you learn a lot from that.
Better mental health: A strong connection with your work can help you maintain a healthier work-life balance and can have a positive impact on your overall mental well-being.
In times of your job search: ask yourself the right questions.
If you recognize yourself in the above, ask yourself, “Why did I choose this job?” and “What do I really want in a job? But perhaps more importantly, become aware of your own sense of purpose. ‘Why are you here on earth?’ Surely not to become an account manager, right?
There are people who firmly believe in a strict separation between work and private life. That is their right. But why leave your ‘life mission’ at home when you go to work?
It is a widely accepted truth that money does not make you happy. Yet it is easy to be seduced by the financial aspects of a job, without thinking about whether the company and the work suit you. Of course, you don’t have to work for a pittance, but money is not everything in life. What really makes you happy?
Another way to look at a new job is to look at your friends. They are often a reflection of yourself. Could you meet your friends within the company? In other words, are the people working there the kind of people you would like to hang out with?
Practical steps in finding a job that really suits you
These steps can help turn the abstract concepts of ‘meaning’ and ‘life mission’ into concrete actions:
Self-reflection: Before you start your search, take time to think deeply about what you really want in a job. What values are important to you? What motivates you? And what are you passionate about? Make a list of these points to use as a guide during your search.
Research: Once you know what you want, start researching potential employers. Look beyond the salary and job description; read about the company culture, mission, and values. Also, review reviews of current and former employees to get a better idea of the work environment.
Networking: Build relationships with people already working at companies that interest you. This will not only give you a better understanding of the company’s culture but can also lead to opportunities you might not have had otherwise.
Ask questions during the job interview: A job interview is not only a chance for the company to get to know you, but also for you to get to know the company better. Ask questions about things that are important to you, such as the company culture, the company’s values, how the company supports its employees, etc.
Be authentic: Finally, be yourself throughout the process. You want to find a company that suits you, not one where you have to change yourself to fit in.
By following these steps, you can secure a job that not only covers your expenses but also provides fulfillment, aligns with your personal values and passions, and allows you to connect with your heart.