Want to work for an organisation with purpose? Start with your own.


Thoughtful Thursday Series

career purpose streategyChoosing a new employer is one of the most important decisions in your career. Get it right and growth, gratification and prosperity come together in joyous harmony. Get it wrong and things can go pear-shaped pretty quickly. How do you assess whether a potential employer is a good match for you? Forget about pay and perks; look for purpose.

Purpose is about the culture and values of a workplace. It is important because most of us want to work for organisations that deliver more than just profit. We want to do something good through our work, we want to do it sustainably and we want to do it in a diverse and balanced workplace. Find a company that shares your values and you will likely thrive.

More and more organisations see value in identifying their purpose and many openly communicate it to their stakeholders. According to Harvard Business Review: “Purpose-driven companies make more money, have more engaged employees and more loyal customers, and are even better at innovation and transformational change…”. Purpose is good for business.

The tricky bit comes when corporate purpose statements meet your personal values. What exactly do you mean by “paying forward”, “giving back” or “making a difference”? What specifically do you expect from your employer, in terms of sustainability and diversity?

As a candidate you should hold a potential employer accountable to its purpose statement. In order to do that, you must be crystal clear on your own values and motivations. What exactly is your personal purpose and how will it affect your career choices?

In my experience, remarkably few candidates have a clearly defined purpose. Whereas most can summarize their hard skills and experience convincingly, few can clearly and concisely articulate their values and motivational drivers. How exactly do you want to change the world? Hmm… the purpose is fuzzy.

A vague statement of personal values and purpose is a dangerous blind-spot when choosing your next employer. If your Purpose is not sufficiently clear and specific, it will not serve you as a reliable basis for making career decisions. Craft your personal purpose statement and use it as your value benchmark when engaging with future employers.

Value and purpose definition are core elements of the modules in our Career Lab Development Program.

Article by Jens, Career Lab Coach.