What is a purpose-driven career and why is it important? | Wanderlust City Projects (WCP)

Interested in doing work that is fulfilling and enjoyable? Defining your values and building a purpose-driven career could be the first step towards a more satisfying working life.

If you’re eager to build a career that is fulfilling, enjoyable and offers progression, simply earning a pay cheque will not be enough.

When it comes to finding work happiness, building a values-based or purpose-driven career is more likely to put on you the path to satisfaction.

The year 2020 and facing the coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to reflect on what’s important to them. It has also given them the chance to re-evaluate how they want to spend their working hours.

If you’ve decided that being happy at work – or with the work you do – is important, here’s how you can work towards a more purpose-driven career.

A purpose-driven career will make you infinitely happier at work. Who wouldn't want that?

What is a purpose-driven career?

Put simply, a purpose-driven career is professional work that holds purpose. The work is led by intention, guided by reaching a certain goal, or underpinned by a specific principle or ethos.

A purpose-driven career, therefore, is not necessarily about working in a specific role or following a progression pathway but rather allowing your core values to guide the direction of your occupation.

One example of a purpose-driven career might be working in an area of environmental law or advocacy if climate change is important to you. Another example could be building a career as a freelance travel writer because working in a creative role is where you produce your best work and where you find the most fulfilment.

In short, when a person’s primary reason for working is purpose-driven, they prioritise work that matters to them, their company and the world over being driven by status or money.

A purpose-driven career will let your creativity shine.

How can I identify my values?

One of the most effective ways to create a purpose-driven career is to pursue work that is values-based. You can do this by identifying your values, as well as the energy and enthusiasm required to reach your goals and finding work that aligns with your beliefs.

Think of your values as the actions, behaviours, beliefs and characteristics that give you energy and make your soul come alive.

Your values also guide the principles by which you want to live your life, both professionally and personally. When your decisions and actions are guided by your values, it will allow you to make better choices, allowing you to prioritise the things that give you a greater sense of satisfaction and fulfilment.

You can also define what your values are by asking yourself some of the following questions:

  • What are your personal strengths?

  • What are your strongest professional or technical skills?

  • What experiences or activities have enriched you the most?

  • What interests do you most enjoy pursuing?

  • How do you like to spend your time?

  • Is building your professional and/or creative network important to you?

  • What kind of job would you be happy to do if earning money and obtaining status wasn’t a major factor?

  • What have been some of the accomplishments you’ve felt most proud of?

  • What causes or social issues do you feel most passionate about?

What would you do if money wasn't a factor?

Why is it important to create a purpose-driven career?

Forging a purpose-driven career is not only more fulfilling and inspiring because it aligns with your motivations and values, there are plenty of other benefits too.

Purpose-driven work can play an important role in allowing you to contribute to a greater good, propel innovation, boost creativity and drive meaningful impact.

The 2015 Workforce Purpose Index found that purpose-oriented employees have 64 per cent higher levels of fulfilment in their work.

But the benefits of a purpose-driven career go beyond personal benefit. Employees driven by purpose are likely to stay at a company for three years or more and 73 per cent of purpose-driven workers are satisfied in their job.

How fulfilled are you in your job right now? Image: @bellsbeachbackpackers Instagram.

When a person is purpose-driven in their work, they view their work as a valuable and meaningful part of their life, even if it is occasionally stressful or difficult.

Choose a career that is purpose-driven and you’ll choose a career that is more fulfilling, more inspiring and more motivating.

Think your purpose-driven career might be in the travel industry? Check out Wanderlust City Projects lineup of creative travel study projects here.

Written by Sharon Green for Wanderlust City Projects.

Sharon is a journalist, copywriter and editor who has worked in mainstream media in Australia and the United Kingdom. She is also the founding editor of women's lifestyle publication SHE DEFINED.

Her favourite city in the world is London, which will always have a piece of her heart.

Sharon’s top travel tip is to travel solo – some of her best adventures have come from exploring the world on her own.

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