Last week the media and marketing community lost a member of our community, Nick Johnson. Doug Weaver, another one of the greats in our community, wrote a beautiful tribute to Nick, as did Ad Age. It was a week where many of us paused to consider how we are living our lives and the purpose our work has in it.
At Shine Talent, people frequently come to me stating they are looking for more purpose in their work or they are looking to join a company that has purpose. In my experience, purpose is found from within. One of my favorite stories about finding purpose through work is the story of President John F. Kenney talking with a janitor during his visit to the NASA space center in 1962. The legend goes that he introduced himself to the man and said, “Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?” The man responded with, “Well, Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon.” True or not, the message is inspiring and worthy of reflecting on. Purpose is not found within the constructs of the company you work in; purpose is found in how you choose to see your work and how you choose to show up for your team, your customers, your community, and your family.
For those of you who are considering a career shift or job change for the sake of finding more purpose, take a pause and consider an exercise in Job Crafting. What touched me so much about the many tributes my business colleagues wrote about Nick last week was how he worked to live his life intentionally and how he found purpose in his work by giving back to his peers, team, mentors, customers, and more.
Life is short. Work with purpose.