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If Your Work Lacks Purpose, Make It More Meaningful Through Job Crafting

We spend the vast majority of our waking hours at work. Given just how much time, energy and effort we expend in our jobs, it’s reasonable to want to hold one that offers us a sense of purpose and meaning.

You should strive to pursue a job or career that offers the chance to be challenged. Pursue work that is meaningful, intellectually challenging and spiritually rewarding. Find a job that enables you to help others, promotes positive change and serves a higher purpose. You want to ensure that your work is aligned with your core values and principles and could possibly make the world a better place.

I understand that these are lofty, aspirational goals. It is rare to find work that offers a sense of purpose. In fact, it’s more likely that your job won’t offer intrinsic, meaningful rewards. You may enjoy the fact that your job is associated with a social status that people find impressive or that it helps you earn a nice living, but somehow, you still feel that something is missing.

If you feel that there is a lack of purpose in your career, you can choose to make a change.

This change does not require you to seek out an entirely new role at a different company, especially given the current job climate. Although the U.S. has record-high employment, the trends that we are seeing play out in hiring now are not conducive to favorable outcomes for prospective job seekers. In fact, badly mistreating job seekers has become commonplace 

Instead of taking grave risks by walking away from your current employer, you can simply make waves by crafting your job to find optimal meaningfulness—the degree of significance an employee believes their work possesses. Job crafting is the process of redefining and reimagining your job design—tasks and relationships assigned to one person in an organization—to foster job satisfaction and bolster employee engagement and performance.

As you aim to redefine your purpose within the company, you should focus on your motives, strengths and passions to help you get there. What energizes you? What exhausts you? To add personal touches to your work, visualize your job, lay out its components and reframe them to better suit you.

You can start your journey with small incremental changes that add up over time. Here is what you should do now to start.

1. Recognize that, with any job, there will be monotonous unglamorous tasks. Even the CEO has to deal with canceled flights, late Ubers and surly underlings.

2. Accept that there will always be a certain percentage of responsibilities that may not change and focus on the things that you do have the power to change.

3. Ask to speak with your boss to discuss your goal of  job crafting, with respect to your responsibilities.

4. Work with your manager to create new responsibilities that provide you with purpose and meaning. Take proactive steps to redesign elements of what you do at work. For example:

  • If you are an accountant, you could suggest starting a unit that caters to charitable organizations.
  • If you are an attorney, you could request to do pro bono work to help immigrants.
  • If you are a stock broker, you could offer discounted advice to parents with college-bound students.

5. Offer to mentor junior staffers, or seek out a manager-level role to unlock your untapped potential.

6. Ask to attend meet-ups for people who are unemployed or seeking work, as you could offer career advice—or maybe you have a job for them.

7. Change your mindset regarding your responsibilities. If you are a janitor at a hospital, for example, try and see yourself in playing a role in curing people’s illnesses.

8. Delegate certain responsibilities that don’t fit your skill set and rob you of your enthusiasm, and ask for assignments that you feel are a better match.

9. If you are at a desk all day long and desire interaction with others, ask about opportunities to get out in front of clients.

10. If you feel overloaded with small tasks that take you away from the more important matters you enjoy, request to shift this work to a more junior-level staffer. You may have mastered your job and require more challenging assignments.

Companies stand to gain a lot by enabling job crafting within an organization. Employees are empowered by being awarded the reins to steer their own careers. Job crafting ensures employee retention and will elevate even the weakest of links by molding tasks to their strengths and passions.

Employees who execute job crafting often end up more engaged and fulfilled in their work lives, achieve higher levels of performance in their companies and obtain unrivaled personal gratification.

You will be viewed in a positive light—seen as engaged, re-energized, loyal and dedicated. Your boss will respect your desire to pursue new meaningful work. In a hot job market, management will welcome a person who desires to stay with the company and improve themselves. You could serve as an example for others to follow, thereby making additional employees feel empowered and dedicated to the company.

Ready for the next challenge? Tune in on August 7 for Day 8.

Miss a challenge? Click here for Day 6: Understand how you fit.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise, and have personally placed thousands of professionals with top-tier companies over the last 20-plus years. I am passionate about advocating for job seekers. In doing so, I have founded a start-up company, WeCruitr, where our mission is to make the job search more humane and enjoyable. As a proponent of career growth, I am excited to share my insider interviewing tips and career advancement secrets with you in an honest, straightforward, no-nonsense and entertaining manner. My career advice will cover everything you need to know, including helping you decide if you really should seek out a new opportunity, whether you are leaving for the wrong reasons, proven successful interviewing techniques, negotiating a salary and accepting an offer and a real-world understanding of how the hiring process actually works. My articles come from an experienced recruiter’s insider perspective.

Source: If Your Work Lacks Purpose, Make It More Meaningful Through Job Crafting

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Jobs Growth Recovers In March After A Disappointing February

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That sound you’re hearing might be a sigh of relief from investors reacting to this morning’s monthly payrolls report.

After a weak showing in February that raised fears of an economic slowdown, job creation bounced back in a big way with 196,000 jobs added by the U.S. economy in March. That was about 20,000 above expectations, and way above revised growth of 33,000 in February. What we’re seeing here is a revergence to the mean in terms of average employment numbers, and that’s reassuring.

With the March number in hand and job growth back on a more healthy pace, the February number might now be chalked up to the after-effects of the government shutdown and bad winter weather. The government said job growth over the last three months has averaged 180,000, and that’s thanks to strong growth in January and again in March.

Average hourly wages grew 3.2% year-over-year last month, another sign of possible economic strength, while the overall unemployment rate stayed at 3.8%, near 50-year lows. Inflation has been a non-starter lately, so the better than 3% wage growth isn’t likely to get many people worried about potential rising prices that sometimes go along with higher wages.

With the jobs data in hand, stocks added to earlier gains in pre-market trading. If we’d gotten another report like February’s, it conceivably might have weighed on the market. Still, one thing to potentially worry about today is a possible “Friday fade,” where investors see a good number, decide jobs growth isn’t something to worry about, and then go back to worrying about other things.

If you want to find imperfections in today’s data, it might be in the type of jobs created. While business and professional services and health care led the gains—which we’ve seen most of the year and looks great—manufacturing and construction again showed little change, the government said, though 16,000 construction jobs did get added. Those are areas many analysts look for when they seek signs of economic strength, but they’ve been a bit quiet the last two months.

Restaurants and bars, along with construction, all had weak growth in February likely due in part to weather, but only restaurants and bars bounced back as temperatures warmed in March. That could be something to keep our eye on, though it’s not worth worrying about too much.

Going into the report, a lot of focus had been on the February number and what it might mean for the economy. When you combine weak jobs growth with some of the low inflation and sluggish retail sales data seen recently, it appeared to send signals about possible underlying consumer weakness. The stock market struggled in early March as investors wrestled with the February jobs data.

Since then, economic data have improved, but that ominous February jobs reading wasn’t far from many investors’ minds. Today’s report could mean one less worry.

China, Strong Data Also in Focus

The market has seemed a bit like an eager dog straining on a leash this week. Excitement about the potential completion of a trade deal between the United States and China has helped provide forward momentum to continue the enthusiasm from Monday’s strong manufacturing data.

But there does seem to be a leash keeping the market from really going gangbusters. One part of that could be some less-than-stellar economic data this week on U.S. durable goods orders, domestic private-sector payrolls, and German industrial orders.

But it’s also possible that investors and traders have kept their optimism in check given the uncertainty ahead of today’s jobs report. And the fact of the S&P 500 nearing an all-time high could be acting as a weight of its own, as the market doesn’t have a huge catalyst to move dramatically higher.

Of the two main causes for worry about global economic growth—the U.S.-China trade war and Britain’s exit from the European Union—it’s a trade deal that seems to be the closest to becoming a catalyst for a rise in stocks. However, it’s also arguable that much of the optimism for a deal has already been priced into the market, as expectations of a resolution have been one of the key drivers for this year’s solid comeback after the market tanked late last year.

Onward and Upward

On Thursday, investors continued to look for developments on the trade front, as President Trump was scheduled to meet with China’s top trade negotiator after the market closed. With sentiment leaning bullish, the S&P 500 continued advancing toward its record Thursday, posting its best close so far this year. The trade meeting ended without too many new details, but stocks moved mostly higher overnight in Europe and Asia.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also gained yesterday, led by a nearly 2.9% rise in shares of Boeing despite Ethiopia’s transport minister saying the crew in the deadly crash last month of a 737 Max jet made by Boeing had repeatedly performed procedures provided by the company but still couldn’t control the plane. The company’s shares appeared to get some lift after Barron’s highlighted a tweet by Boeing’s CEO about a software update performing safely in a demo flight. Bloomberg reported that the company’s shares gained ground as optimism about a trade deal helped shares shrug off the latest developments on the crash.

In other corporate news, Tesla’s shares fell more than 8% Thursday after the automaker disappointed investors by reporting a bigger-than-expected drop in auto sales. The roughly 63,000 deliveries fell short of what analysts had been expecting.

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Figure 1: Eye on the Greenback: The U.S. dollar (candlestick) has been climbing vs. other currencies, though it leveled off this week. It’s not far from its 2019 highs thanks in part to some strong U.S. data and concerns about Brexit. Meanwhile, gold (purple line) has been descending, which often happens when the dollar gains ground. Data Sources: ICE, CME Group. Chart source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Data Sources: ICE, CME Group. Chart source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade.

Consumers Keeping Their Jobs: In U.S. economic news, initial jobless claims fell to their lowest level since 1969, according to the latest Labor Department numbers. In the seven days ended March 30, initial claims for state unemployment benefits, a rough gauge of layoffs, fell by 10,000 to about 202,000, the third consecutive decline. “The key takeaway from the report is that it suggests employers are reluctant to let go of employees,” Briefing.com said. “That is a positive consideration in terms of the economic outlook since feelings of job security help fuel increased consumer spending activity.”

Sentiment Data on Tap: Speaking of the U.S. consumer, which drives a huge portion of the domestic and global economies, investors are scheduled to get a reading on consumer sentiment for April from the University of Michigan next week. The last reading, for March, increased from February’s number. “Rising incomes were accompanied by lower expected year-ahead inflation rates, resulting in more favorable real income expectations,” the university said then. “Moreover, all income groups voiced more favorable growth prospects for the overall economy.” It could be interesting to see if consumer sentiment for April continues to improve.

Cain on Rise? On Thursday, President Trump said he had recommended former Republican presidential candidate and pizza chain chief executive Herman Cain for a Fed board seat. The news comes after Trump has expressed displeasure with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell after a series of interest rate hikes. But as CNBC points out, Cain may not end up being as dovish as the president might wish, noting a 2014 tweet where Cain said the central bank “can’t keep the economy running on the fumes of artificially low interest rates forever.” For now, though, the Fed seems committed to a dovish policy as inflation remains muted.

TD Ameritrade® commentary for educational purposes only. Member SIPC.

I am Chief Market Strategist for TD Ameritrade and began my career as a Chicago Board Options Exchange market maker, trading primarily in the S&P 100 and S&P 500…

Source: Jobs Growth Recovers In March After A Disappointing February

3 Ways To Maintain Your Integrity In Difficult Workplace Situations – Avery Blank

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The workplace is stressful, particularly when faced with a situation that tests your integrity. There can be pressure to carry out a manager’s directive. You want to perform well in your role, and you naturally feel like you should please the person who evaluates your performance. To remain true to yourself and maintain your self-respect, you have to be grounded. This sometimes may mean having a different view from your boss. But great managers respect employees who think independently, have the organization’s best interest in mind and respond with constructive solutions…..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/averyblank/2018/09/11/3-ways-to-maintain-your-integrity-in-difficult-workplace-situations/#44a85eb81a77

 

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