The Six Secrets To Finding Work Purposeful And Fulfilling
7 minutes read
I started my career as an editorial assistant at the age of 20. I have covered many roles in the following decade, including authoring stories for Marie Claire, Glamour, Vanity Fair and Vogue, specialising in women’s interests, wellness, and health.
Last year, I was tapped by an award-winning agency to be part of the pioneering editorial team behind Beauty Daily by Clarins. So here we are today – I am embracing and loving writing about all things beauty and wellness.
However, it hasn’t always been plain-sailing. In my twenties, I was taken aside by my boss and told: ‘the company can’t always be around, cheering everything I do.’
So, I had to find my own motivation and that was also my wake-up call.
There were days I was full of motivation and some others when my energy completely slumped. I depended on my emotions, and I delivered what was required, but that was it.
I was in a constant blur, but it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that I had to confront what was going on and started to refocus, reimagine, and redirect my career path, not motivated by ‘royalties’ but a greater sense of purpose.
I was not alone. People used the pandemic to re-evaluate their lives: from living sustainably to consuming less meat to fast forward to 2022, a year of great reflection. 62% of people long for a bigger change in their work lives. Employees are constantly seeking personal value and purpose at work.
To celebrate 10 years in the business, I have jotted down six things that worked for me to find purpose at work.
1. Change of perspective
Finding meaning in daily or routine tasks can be quite challenging. Let’s admit there are good and bad days, and year three of living in a Covid-stricken world doesn’t help. However, it all boils down to perspective.
I realised that when I touched other people’s lives and contributed to the greater good, this is my happy workplace.
This was the trigger to start approaching my work differently and believe that what I do matters as long as I do it with integrity.
Research suggests that by acknowledging that other people have different skills than you or have knowledge that could benefit you, you’ll be intent on learning from them, not comparing or competing.
A change of perspective indeed is key.
2. Reflect on what matters
If it wasn’t for journaling, I wouldn’t have developed my love for writing. It all started when my mum gave me a diary with a heart lock on my 9th birthday. She told me I could write anything under the sun, so I went rogue and unfiltered.
I remember when I was at the lowest point of my career in 2017 when I consistently wrote every day: reflecting and questioning everything.
I had the chance to re-read my entries recently, and I could feel sadness with the slightest thread of hope. I relived those memories as the same person but with a different lens.
Journaling has been a hallmark of the so-called self-care movement. The New York Times rightly shares: “Scientific studies have shown it as essentially a panacea for modern life.”
It’s a simple, low-cost way of boosting your mental health. Self-reflective writing is said to be beneficial. Six weeks of journaling was found to decrease burnout, boost compassion and increase feelings of satisfaction.
All you need is a pen and paper and fire away. Some even use digital devices, so the choice is yours.
What do you write about? A blank page is intimidating, and most budding journal writers might not know where to start. But we’re on the same page – just put whatever springs to mind down on paper.
This year, I took the non-conventional route and picked Five Minutes In The Morning Journal in the book store. It is filled with exercises to encourage reflection, set daily intentions, just let me breathe, and allow thoughts to come.
3. Have a clear vision
When I was in college, I read The Secret. I grew up attending Sunday school, where my family is deeply rooted in a community church and the ‘Ask and you shall receive’ was not entirely new to me.
However, Rhonda Bryne’s book introduced me to the world of vision boards and visualisation and writing it down. I print and pin everything I want to achieve or jot down my goals and dreams for the next couple of years and create a plan of action narrowed to daily tasks.
Neuropsychologists say when individuals vividly describe their goals in written form; they are 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to accomplish them. A psychology professor at the Dominican University in California says you are 42% likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Nothing gives you more energy every day than a clear purpose. So do what you can today to influence a better tomorrow.
4. Learn from the greats
I am big on self-help and biographies.
These are my go-to’s:
The Courage To Be Disliked – I learned that we become fully aware of our worth when we feel our existence and behaviour benefit the community.
The Little Book Of Ikigai – To focus on doing something (or part of something) passionately and do it very well. Another great takeaway from the book is the idea of living in a continuous state of bliss without searching for immediate gratification through external recognition and;
Atomic Habits – I learned that our pre-existing limiting beliefs do not define us, and we can change our narratives by building habits that can directly influence the future.
My current read is How To Be Your Own Therapist by one of my favourite self-help book authors; someone dear to me is the globally acclaimed, Sunday Times Best-selling Author, Owen O’Kane, who I bug for interviews and chat with as much as possible.
I spend an ample amount of time practising mindfulness. But what I loved about his new book is how he guides readers to use as little as 10 mins to boost and reduce anxiety. In this book, he covered relatable situations and practical and doable steps and strategies.
5. Surround yourself with the right people
Having a great support system has led the path to finding my purpose at work. It is a crucial part of everyone’s growth to be around people who lift you rather than drag you down. In addition, finding a mentor offers another lens of looking from the outside on how you’re doing.
Statistics show that 87% of mentors and mentees feel empowered by their mentoring relationships and have developed greater confidence.
I have limited association with certain people and removed what top leadership expert Robin Sharma calls ‘energy vampires’: the toxic people who suck and drain your energies.
I am also so happy to be part of the powerhouse that makes up the BD team. Having a positive work and company environment makes all the difference. Working as a team cultivates work purpose too. I also have a mentor outside of work, my former Vogue editor, whom I am genuinely and immensely grateful for.
6. Cultivate an environment that keeps you inspired
Self-care is such an essential part of our life that it gives us a break from stress and anxiety.
My daily self-care beauty regimen is the most important as it sets the mood for relaxation and calmness as I wind down after a long work day.
I start with a hot-steam shower using the Basil and Chamomile infused Relax Bath and Shower Concentrate. Then, I do my nighttime face care routine, including cult faves Double Serum Face and Eye.
I am also the biggest fan of the Eau Ressourçante range, and both are residents of my nighttime routine. Both smell divine. The Eau Ressourçante treatment fragrance smells fresh; it has basil and cedarwood, which evokes feelings of serenity, peace, and calmness. While the Eau Ressourçante Silky-Smooth Body Cream hydrates and relaxes.
Final Word: It took a while for me to find my purpose at work. It required a total rehauling of my perspective. The biggest revelation to me is we can all achieve a state of fulfilment, peace, and purpose.
It is life-changing and that I will take with me as I continue to evolve and grow in the business.
As with any aspect of life, work is part of a bigger puzzle, but we also must bear in mind that our professional and personal lives go hand in hand. People who reported being happy at work tend to enjoy life more and have better health, stronger relationships, and a greater sense of purpose in general.
Fixing my eyes toward something bigger than myself is the key to finding my purpose at work.
-Anne Lora Scagliusi