Work: Paycheck or Purpose?

You may have heard the story about the tourist in Italy who comes upon a construction crew.  The first man was pushing a wagon of large rocks.  The tourist asked “What are you doing?” to which the man replied, in broken English, “Can’t you see?  I’m hauling rocks. I carry to there” as he pointed to a pile near a stone wall.


The tourist asked another man, who was taking the rocks and placing them on one another, what he was doing.  The second laborer answered:  “I’m building a wall.”

Finally, the tourist approached a third man and asked what he was doing.  The man, with dark and weathered skin, grinned widely and threw up his hands to the sky, saying “Grazie – you for asking.  I building a cathedral. Molto Bella!”

Interesting responses?  All three men were doing relatively the same job but their perspectives were completely different.  The third clearly had a bigger perspective to his labor job while the 

first two were focused on the “paycheck”.  There is opportunity in every job or career to have a purpose, based on a bigger perspective; however, many of us don’t look at our work as more than what we do to pay our bills and keep our heads above the proverbial waters of debt.

Looking for more satisfaction and fulfillment in your job? Perhaps you feel like your career is in a rut or you don’t experience fulfillment.  What can you do?

  • Know yourself and your values.  Sometimes this means changing jobs or careers but not always.  You can learn to find meaning in your current position by making a few changes.
  • Look for the good in the job you currently have.  What brings you most satisfaction?  We usually focus on the things we don’t like about our jobs but start to look for the things or people you enjoy at work.
  • Keep a Career Journal of your accomplishments, based on those values you identified.  When needing a lift, look back on that to give your sense of self worth a boost.
  • Keep a Gratitude Journal.  Before you leave work for the day, write down three things that “went well” and why.  What role did you play in the outcome?  How did it impact others or your company?
  • Share your take aways with others.  You aren’t the only one that needs to be reminded that you can have purpose to your work

You will be surprised that, over time, you will come to search out opportunities to add value to your work as well as look forward to writing down your gratitudes.

Research show that, after three months of focusing on the “good”, our outlook improves and we build resilience to face the tough times encountered on the job. Who can’t use a little more resilience and renewal?

Interested in learning more about discovering your purpose, learning the benefits of increasing your emotional intelligence and how to increase your resilience?

Contact me for a complimentary consult –   813/843-6934

One thought on “Work: Paycheck or Purpose?

  1. Finding the good in a job you want to leave is very difficult in the midst of pressure, criticism or unfairness. If you have a new job to go to, it is easier to exit cleanly and not consider your own role in the things you do not like. When you leave, it is always good to reflect on both the good and the bad, and to consider what you might have done differently. You would then carry into the next position positive feelings and less tendency to see the same patterns of negativity again. Patricia says to see as much positive as possible. It is a positive attitude that employers are looking for in new hires.

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