Why Do You Work?

Steve Williamson, Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
Monday, November 15, 2021
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Why Do You Work?

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Tags: #purpose #empowerment #leadership

Most people spend roughly a third of their adult life working. Some work for themselves as business owners (and often spend even more of their lives doing it) but most work for others.

Whether you are an employee who reports to a supervisor or you are a business owner that reports to customers and clients, someone has the opportunity to express appreciation for the value and worth of what you do — or not.

This appreciation answers the question: Why do you work?

We all need a sense of purpose in what we do. Without purpose, work is dreaded, avoided, shirked, short shrifted, or ignored altogether.

According to eRep's Performance Fuel Formula, to be successful in their job, everyone needs purpose, clarity and feedback.

Purpose is the tangible evidence and knowledge that what you do matters and will be appreciated.

Clarity is knowing what you need to accomplish without ambiguity. Feedback is the communication you need, when you need it, to have that clarity and sense of purpose.

We all crave — need — a sense of purpose regardless of where we are in the occupational food chain. We all need to know that what we do matters. Our labor must contribute to something meaningful, something impactful and valuable. Otherwise, what's the point?

On an emotional level, we need to know that our efforts will be appreciated. This is the human connection, the emotional manna we need to survive on a deeply personal level. Our results need impact, but our souls at a fundamental, emotional level need to be fed as well.

The Purpose of Leadership

Giving others a sense of purpose is one of the fundamental hallmarks of great leadership. What team genuinely rallied around a cause that they knew didn't matter?

If people know their individual and collective efforts will have real and positive impact, if they feel that their energy is genuinely and enthusiastically appreciated, they will follow you anywhere and they will move any mountain that stands in their way.

One of the simplest ways to express gratitude for others' efforts is through praise. How?

As contributor Sam Jenniges said1, "There are few things as powerful as the simple act of letting someone know their work made a difference." When talking about the reason to give praise, Sam added, "It's the right thing to do."

"There are few things as powerful as the simple act of letting someone know their work made a difference." — Sam Jenniges

When you truly feel a sense of purpose, you become empowered. Your energy level and enthusiasm for the task rises. You gain a strong sense of faith in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals.

"Yes, I can!" is what you'll say when you have a sense of purpose about your work.


[1] Article: When Employee Recognition Occurs, it Seldom Hits the Mark by Sam Jenniges

Go to eRep.com/core-values-index/ to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.

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Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in information technology, software development, and project management spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (ruckerworks.com), and when he isn't writing he is an aspiring multi-instrumentalist and composer, a virtual pilot in a home-built flight simulator, and a cyclist.

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