Purpose is essential to long term happiness in any role. If you can’t connect what you do with a positive outcome, then you are likely to feel unfulfilled, disengaged and restless.
You should always question your purpose, because you need to work towards some measurable characteristic, to both contribute to company and personal growth.
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The first thing you should do is perform a self assessment, qualifying all your responsibilities and quantifying in what way you have accomplished a positive outcome. If you find a measurable outcome that motivates you, cherish it, and let that purpose build the flames of passion for achieving excellence in what you do.
If you cannot quantify a positive, ask why? Where have you gone astray in tackling your tasks and responsibilities? What could be improved to ensure you stay on track? Tackling any issues head on will allow you to resume crushing goals and checking off milestones systematically.
If this is not possible, question further, is this role appropriate for achieving your intended career goals? Do you need to talk to your team to encourage the changes you need for success?
This leads us to the next analysis: is it you or them? How do you get on with your fellow team members? How effective are your lines of communication? Do you feel comfortable bringing problems to their attention, or do you feel unimportant and undermined?
If you have a good relationship with your team, talk through any issues you are having and work on solutions for better collaboration, for the benefit of all. A happy team can work more confidently and productively, allowing everyone to chase their targets and nail those quotas.
If you have issues communicating with your team or feel uncomfortable in their presence, that is the first thing you should tackle. If you can’t, and interpersonal issues are affecting your passion for your job, then it may be time to consider leaving.
Sometimes despite achieving a positive outcome, victories feel hollow. Many times the problem isn’t you but the way your company views what you do or the level of support or trust you receive. All of these things can play into the budget you have to work with, which can seriously hamper your best efforts to succeed. Consider the following example:
In some tech roles in particular you may perform miracles working with outdated technology, but will still be frustrated by the limitations such systems impose on you. This can lead to despondency, apathy and resentment.
The most professional thing to do in such a situation is to prepare a report of the inherent flaws of working with said systems, presenting the advantages of a newer but more costly solution. Cost however is ultimately many times the determining factor in business and if the numbers don’t line up for key decision makers, don’t expect them to take your side.
Eventually, you may well be forced to an unappealing conclusion: that whilst someone may be happy to fiddle with old tech until the programming language becomes defunct, that person isn’t you. There are innumerable businesses across our industry, and these problems, and problems like them, occur constantly.
Making a decision
If one or more of these analyses come back negative, a decision needs to be made. There is no point suffering in a role that isn’t fulfilling at a time of explosive industry growth, with countless roles available.
However, finding a role though is less problematic than committing to one. We all know browsing is harmless enough, even setting up interviews is easy and convenient with flexible working, but actually agreeing and taking that leap of faith is difficult.
Make sure you interview your interviewer, asking as many if not more questions than they are asking you, so that you can secure the perfect role for you, and follow your passion through purposeful work.
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