Many of us who work every day in large companies strive to find a way to make a difference in the world. At times, few of us actually find ourselves in a job that makes us feel like what we are doing makes a difference.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we knew for certain that we were making progress towards world hunger, peace, climate, inequality, or education at work? Some of us are...we just don't realize it.
In my job, I have lots of people come to me who want to know what they can do to help make a difference and I always ask them, where do you work now? Let's start there! You see, everything that we do has a positive or negative consequence. It's a play on the butterfly effect, I'll admit, but if we look at the macrocosm that we are a part of, you can really see that everything that we do can influence the world in a positive or negative way.
So, are you living up to your full potential? Are you influencing where you have power for good? Here are a few things we can consider.
1. Follow your job down the line, you may find that your job is an integral piece of a larger management chain ( in most cases it is). Ultimately you can see down the line YOU ARE a part of the bigger picture because you deliver something important that also helps others do their jobs, and ultimately leads to the direct impact of the company in whatever service they are providing.
2. Find out what volunteer opportunities there already are at your work and get involved. If your organization is a large organization it could be partnered with NGOs or charities that will have some opportunities to volunteer, so if your actual role is not giving you the satisfaction that you need to connect with the world in a bigger way, aside from finding another job, you can begin with this.
4. If your company does not offer volunteer opportunities, this may be a great way to find out what the possibilities are in your community and create a business case for teaming up with them and creating a program of your own. Just because there isn’t one already, it doesn’t mean that you aren't allowed to create an opportunity. Show some initiative and let your company know you are willing to work for what you believe in.
5. Ask to help those who are doing what you want to do. If another person has your dream job and there is just no way that you see yourself being able to move internally anytime soon, then be proactive in letting people know what you are interested in! Ask to talk with the people in the roles to learn more about what they do. The worst that can happen is that you learn more about what the job entails and what skills are needed to be more fit for the job! This alone brings you one step closer to where you want to be and should propel your excitement. Once you have the knowledge, it's up to you to know what to do with it.
6. Create a purpose statement for yourself on what is really important to you. One of the most useful tools I have ever learned in my life was how to brand myself. ( I am not even fully sure if I have mastered that one) ehhem. Regardless, having my own business really brought me out of my shell. When you become your own boss, usually, you are on 100% commission. This means you have to sell yourself, and there is no getting around it. You have to sell YOUR brand. The same goes for you in your career life even if you do not work for yourself. How do you have your own personal brand? Well, this is a topic that can be a whole training course. The main thing to note is that you need to define your purpose and your mission. Who are you? From there, you can then define your direction.