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Leveraging Your Purpose at Work

Have you ever had something that was so much on your heart to say that you were almost afraid of it? That was the question I began with as I addressed the four hundred attendees of WELCOA’s annual Summit this year in Orlando knowing that I had just thrown out my whole talk a week and a half prior. I had originally planned a much longer talk with actionable steps and a model for taking a holistic, aligned approach to employee wellness. The reality about the WELCOA Summit is that, on that stage, every single speaker is presenting the best ideas backed by the best research and road maps for achieving results. The other reality was that my original talk was largely just citing the incredible work they were all doing that was inspiring me. I felt driven to share something that only I could share. To contribute to the event by acting in my strengths.

Stop for a moment and think about the best day you have had at your job, a time that really made you feel fired up. How did you feel? Connected? Energized? Realigned with the purpose that made you choose the position in the first place?

Now think about the worst day you have had in your job. How did you feel? Angry? Lost at sea? For me, the worst days come when I feel like my work is not contributing to the purpose with which I entered this industry in the first place—to help people find meaningful work and reach their full potential. And at the Summit, I chose to strip down my talk to the story that only I could tell to help people connect to an idea that was very much on my heart. Honestly, I wouldn’t have had anything to contribute that was special or different if I hadn’t been working within that purpose. The talk ended up being a huge success, and I was grateful that I listened to my gut and played to my strengths.

“You also have the right to work within your strengths. Your strengths are your gift—those things that only you can provide for your team.”

You also have the right to work within your strengths. Your strengths are your gift—those things that only you can provide for your team. To connect with those today, get acquainted with Flow Theory (for a crash course, there’s a great conversation about it within in a course Laura Putnam of Motion Infusion created for the WELCOA Institute). In a nutshell, ask yourself one or more of these questions. What is the one thing that you do in your work that makes you feel elated? What is an action or task that, when you do it, you are exponentially more productive, time seems to speed up, or maybe you black out and then realize you just created something great without even trying? What feels like second nature to you but also is challenging enough to bring you fulfillment? That thing could be your flow skill! When you are doing that skill, you are truly working within your strengths. Today, when you identify that skill, I charge you to use that task for employee wellness. You can use that task right now to make your job feel rich, and you owe it to yourself and the employees you serve to stay fired up.

You can listen to my story from the Summit below. To hear all talks from the incredible Summit speakers and download other materials including presentations, audio and word clouds, WELCOA Members can click here.


Sara Rauch, Director of Strategy & Planning