Over the festive break, I went for a walk with a friend and her faithful black lab over the lumps and bumps of the Cotswolds. She was about to hit a big-zero birthday in the New Year and was busy pondering her life.
She likes her job. Mostly. But she’d always seen herself doing something a bit more ‘meaningful’ for work by now. Over the holidays, she'd been waking up most nights and agonised whether to quit her job or not – and what she'd do next if she did.
This got me thinking.
More of us than ever before are craving purpose in our lives. Right now, there are over 5.5 million coaches on LinkedIn. You can choose a life coach, business coach, careers coach, personal coach, workplace coach and lots more besides. Yes, all these lovely folk are here to help you find and live your purpose.
Now don't get me wrong, I think it's brilliant that we're finally getting to prioritise our happiness. I just don't think the problem necessarily lies with us.
I think it's organisations who need 'fixing'.
Four years ago I left my ideal job (on paper) with a large company who have an inspiring purpose. Sadly, it was the CEO’s purpose and no-one else got a look in. It wasn’t his fault. But I didn’t want to work for a company who weren’t interested in sharing their purpose with me.
These days I’m happily self-employed. But working for yourself isn't for everyone. It takes aeons to build a business, with high levels of stress and financial uncertainty – you live constantly in feast or famine – and it's just not for everyone.
So what's the answer?
Well, I believe it's the businesses themselves who need to change. So that's what I focus on. Because we all desperately need a new story of 'business as usual' right?
Simply put, if your organisation doesn't evolve and find its purpose today it may find itself in big trouble tomorrow. After all, no millennial who thrives on purpose and meaning – will be touching your business with a barge pole in years to come.
And having a powerful story will save you. Because the story your organisation lives and tells has the power to transform it into the unique, inspiring and successful purpose-led business that the planet and everyone on it, needs you to be.
What do you think?