Don’t find a job, find a purpose

We all have a purpose

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say we all have a purpose. All of us. Something in our lives that we are so passionate about that we could literally talk all day about it. Something that is so powerful to us that when we meet others of a similar disposition there’s an instant click - a realisation that you are on the same wavelength. Something that we are so in love with that we wish we had more of it in our lives.

When you sit back and think about it, I can guarantee that there’s something that’ll come to mind. I don’t mean a charitable activity or a cause as such – that’s easy, there’s a lot to care about in the world – but something that you have an insatiable hunger to do more of. It’s rare, however, that your job aligns to this calling. And here’s what leads many people to feel like they’re living lives without purpose.

Purpose goes deeper than just enjoyment

I have many, many hobbies and joys in my life. I find joy in being with my family and friends. I make room to engage in fitness activities on a daily basis. I take pleasure in good food, and I’m something of a film fanatic. However, only two things spring to mind that are all-consuming to me: my work and videogames.

Yep, it comes as a surprise to some that I’m an avid gamer of over two decades now. My love for games is so strong that I’ve close to banished them from my life, as I find it so easy to get sucked into the incredible worlds and narratives that developers create, and then into the inevitable swathes of discussion that follow it on various forums and review sites. This is to the extent that I co-founded such a website a few years ago. I don’t love playing games; I love the entire culture around them. My love for them is so strong that I’ve actually had to choose one calling or another.

Finding purpose is difficult enough, and following it is often an uncharted journey. The rewards are huge though.

Finding purpose is difficult enough, and following it is often an uncharted journey. The rewards are huge though.

Choosing my purpose

However, I’ve still had the opportunity to settle on another calling in my work with businesses and charities. I love the marketing process, and I love helping organisations align themselves with people in a better way. I love watching the growth and development of a business or non-profit over months and years, and the satisfaction that comes with success is immense. It’s hard work – a job is never ‘done’ as marketing is an ongoing process, but it’s beautiful to watch a sinking business thrive again, and to watch its staff develop, both in numbers and their personal happiness in working there.

Could I have chosen the videogames route? Easily. When you follow a calling, money shouldn’t matter (bar meeting the necessities). I would have found immense pleasure and purpose in working in a videogame retailer, or joining the YouTube crowd and creating review videos, or continuing work on my aforementioned site and building it up. It’s still a growing industry. But I chose another path, and I am happy.

Beyond money

To this end I challenge you to find your calling and your purpose. Finding a job or a career that pays well is easy enough, but hard in the long run, as you’ll find a deep-seated resentment for it over time and unhappiness is almost bound to follow. Finding your calling and following it is difficult in a world that places emphasis on financial gain, especially at first, but to not follow your calling is to disregard your life, your passions, and your purpose.