Having a happy and healthy workforce has so many benefits beyond employee wellbeing; it attracts top talent to your business, increases retention, super charges productivity and reduces absenteeism due to stress related illnesses. One way that you can improve the wellbeing of your people is to ensure they all understand their purpose in life and how their job role contributes to that. You may find that disengaged employees might be better suited in different roles or they might realise that they need to change career completely.
The team at Marshall Centre recently completed a 2.5-hour training session with our Head of Wellbeing, Jo Boyd, who introduced us to a Japanese concept called Ikigai (Reason for being). Jo led us through a series of activities to help us discover the things that we love doing, what we are good at, what the world needs and what we could get paid to do. We used this information in different combinations to discover our passion, profession, vocation, and mission. This information was then evaluated to discover our purpose.
"I wish I’d known about this years ago! Before I worked in marketing, I was a secondary school teacher for 12 years; I loved it, I was good at it and I think the world needs good teachers, but for me, it was a vocation. Working as a paid teacher nearly killed me; I took on too much responsibility, I was so invested in my students' progress and wellbeing that I stopped caring about my own. This did not end well as I experienced burnout and even had to take over a year off work to recover! When I felt able to go back to work, I knew I could not go back to teaching, which was scary as that was all I knew. I had worked my way up to middle management and the thought of starting over in my career was daunting. I signed up with many employment agencies, but I could never answer the fundamental question of what I wanted to do. I knew I enjoyed writing and being creative but beyond that, I was clueless.
After months of rejection letters, I secured an entry level role at a B2B lead generation agency promoting education programmes. It was a hard pill to swallow as I took a massive pay cut and went from leading large teams of teachers to reporting to a 22-year-old. Although I knew that the role was just a steppingstone and I would not be there long, I did learn a great deal during my time there. I also ended up doing my MBA, which I was introduced to because of that role and that was a life-changing experience. I will forever be grateful to that company for restarting my career and for helping me realise that what I loved was education and promoting the benefits of life-long learning, which is something that the world needs and I'm happy to be paid for, BOOM! I found my purpose:
To promote and champion the benefits of a learning culture for an ethical training provider. Encouraging others to continue growing and developing themselves and to discover the benefits that a love of learning brings. So that more people start to question popularly held beliefs and groupthink. This will help us be more open to progress because we will be curious and brave enough to take risks without fear of failure."
Resetting and retraining to do a different role can seem daunting, especially if you have been in the same role for a long time, but leaving teaching was the best decision I ever made and now, just a few years later, I am in my dream job, working with the most amazing team in the most amazing culture. It is never too late to make a change."
- Marketing Manager, Janine Hornsby.
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."
- Steve Jobs.
If your people know their purpose, you will have a happier, healthier, loyal, engaged, fulfilled and productive workforce. If you are interested in the training Jo delived on resilience and purpose or any of our other courses get in touch by clicking the link below.