Career Advancement, work better

How to make sure the work you do actually matters

Photo credit: Brian A Jackson, Shutterstock

Photo credit: Brian A Jackson, Shutterstock

Even if you work for an organization that has a social mission, it’s not always easy to see the impact or importance of your work. You get used to putting out fires, responding to emails, and juggling so many different projects and priorities, you forget the purpose of your work in the first place. Are you sure you’re helping your organization fulfill its mission?

That’s why I was happy to see this article from Popforms on making sure the work you do matters. Setting goals and celebrating milestones are important, but before we develop tactics, we have to gain clarity on what’s important. To do so, Kate recommends crafting a mission statement:

What are you working towards?  What is the end goal you are working toward?

You can write this in any format you want: a statement, prose, or even a diagram.

The key here is to hone in on your main purpose in the different areas of your life – your work, your friends and family, your finances, etc.  You have to focus on what really matters.  You’re not just doing things because they come up anymore; you are doing things because they are what you have decided are the most important.

Having a firm, clear grasp on your vision helps your crystallize your focus when things do come up and threaten to get in the way. This strategy always enables you to ask yourself, of any task that pops up or inserts itself in your day: “Does this task align with my personal mission?” And then you can act accordingly.

Read the rest of her advice here.

One activity I often recommend is to rewrite your organization’s mission with your role in it. For example, if your organization states, “Our mission is to provide our students with a great education that will prepare them for college” rewrite this to include how you help your org do this: “As a fundraiser, I help us achieve this mission by raising money to support programs that bring our students high-quality academic opportunities.” When I do this, it helps me clarify why I am here and what I need to accomplish.

How do you clarify your purpose at work? Share any tips you have in the comments.

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