Everyone has a job. Well, unless you are one of those fortunate individuals who don’t have to work or choose to be a stay-at-home parent (except being a parent is probably the hardest job of all!) most individuals have a job. However, if you take the majority of working individuals, how many of them do you think have actually found a meaningful purpose in that job? Seldom few, we’re guessing.
Project managers, however, usually don’t have any trouble finding job purpose. There are always a thousand tasks, projects, and responsibilities to manage and monitor. However, project managers, in the midst of complete and utter chaos, should reflect on why they are a project manager and what it is they are project managing.
Fuel for the Fire. Project managers all have a burning passion and drive within them. It’s that fire that allows them to be the proactive go-getters that they are. In order to keep that fire burning, there needs to be fuel. The fuel, in this case, is job purpose.
It’s really easy to get caught up in the day-to-day minutiae and boring details of any job, but it’s important to remember what and who is it that you are serving. What are your deliverables and how do they impact others’ lives? Maybe you are project managing a non-profit organization, or building houses, or contributing to our technical society and atmosphere in some fashion. Either way, find that purpose, give it fuel, and make it happen for yourself…because you are worth it.
Personal Touch. In addition to every project manager’s driving force and passion, they also have their own personality. Each project manager’s personality plays a huge role in managing a project and in creative problem solving. We’ve talked before about the psychology behind project management and how it is both an art and a science. The art behind project management is creativity, which varies upon the project manager or individual. That level of creativity is a project manager’s own personal touch, which is also what makes a project successful and allows any project manager to find job purpose.
Change Someone’s Life Each Day. Even if you have the most boring project management job known to man (and woman!), we’d bet money you could still find a way to changes lives with what you do. The point here is to find what that is and how you help and impact another’s life (regardless of how small or insignificant it may seem) and focus on that. Even if your job or area of expertise doesn’t change lives directly, focus this energy towards a coworker or supplier you have a great working relationship with. A “hello, how are you?” and a smile in the hallway can make a bigger impact than what you might think. It will make getting up and going to work each day that much more rewarding.
All in all, working for a living is tough. Some jobs are more challenging than others, some are enjoyable, but at the end of the day, it’s still work. That’s why we call it work. However, project managers have the ability to control that mind frame by finding job purpose. Analyze your job as it is now, and find out how you can integrate your personal touch, fuel it, and really make an impact on someone’s life. What more purpose do you need?