The NASPP Career Corner Blog

April 22, 2016

Being of Service: Three Benefits of a Purpose-Driven Workday

To quote Zig Ziglar, “you can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”  Of course, I am not sure saying “just” really tells the whole story.  I would add that having a passion for being of service to others and genuinely wishing to make a positive impact on the lives of others with your life’s work multiplies the fruits of your labor and cements the loyalty and support of those you serve.  In this blog post, we will look at a few of the many benefits of being of service as a workplace philosophy.

You Find Meaning in and Grow from Experiences

In the context of a career, living and working with purpose means that instead of going through the motions of completing tasks and hitting deadlines, you take a step back and look at how what you do aligns with your values and serves a larger purpose than merely a job well done.

This can mean different things to different people.  You can start by asking yourself the big questions about the meaning of life, your greater purpose for being alive, and how your work can be aligned with that greater purpose and meaning.

Once those connections are made, you get to wake each morning with greater enthusiasm knowing how what you do for a living contributes to larger vision that you have for the world and yourself.   You can imbue each daily activity with that same spirit and look opportunities to grow as a human being by helping others to attain their goals and live from their purpose as well.

You Make a Difference in the Lives of Others

Every day on the job, you are presented with opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those you work alongside.  Each interaction, no matter with whom and regardless of how seemingly insignificant the encounter, can be seen as a gift in that it is a chance to affect some else’s life for the better.

Whether you are communicating with CFO whose equity transactions you are handling or buying a wrap from the guy who works the sandwich truck in front of your office, coming from a place of kindness and compassion will ensure that you are contributing positive energy into the world.  Even the smallest acts of kindness can have a huge ripple effect as that energy is passed on to others through the day.  Such goodwill is then radiated back to you and makes your day even brighter.

Your Professional Relationships are Deep and Real

Being of service to others builds trust.  Relationships built on trust create security for you and your colleagues.  Deaths in the family, personal hardships, and financial struggles can make it hard to balance personal and professional responsibilities.  Having real relationships with your coworkers means that an environment of compassion is created where colleagues offer support to each other in times of difficulty.  They step in and offer assistance, encouragement, and even a shoulder to cry on at times.  Being there for someone is good for your spirit, helps you feel a part of a greater whole and creates a safety net for when you find yourself in need of support, too.

You Ignite Creativity and Positive Momentum

When others feel safe in your presence, they are way more apt to relax enough to let their creative juices flow.  From a place of mutual trust and respect, efforts to defend ones turf and ideas become unnecessary.  Instead, that energy can be shifted towards more productive activities.  Imagine the amazing things you could create with your colleagues if the office politics, power grabbing, and manipulation vanished from your workplace dynamics.

When those you work with realize that you have their best interests at heart, they are free to explore new ideas with you and reveal their personal goals and passions without fear of negative consequences.  When all members of your team and operating in this open and trusting way, a new era of collaboration can begin.

Yes, being of service to others as a professional philosophy has many benefits.  Though I did not mention the more tangible benefits, like greater opportunities for job and income growth, they too seem to flow from such a purpose-driven workday.  I invite you to more consciously employ this approach, if you are not already, and see what it does for you.

-Andrea