3 years ago my husband came home every day tired and scowling. It wasn’t that his job was physically taxing or that the people around him made his day miserable. He came home every day knowing that he was working in a great office, with a nice salary and that his work left him completely unsatisfied. The scowl he wore is the expression of someone who just traded a week of his life for a paycheck and nothing more.
I had begun my own life transition at the time. I had taken a sabbatical from my position as CFO and owner of a mid-size construction firm to finish two master’s degrees and determine how I could live a life that included a greater amount of purpose and satisfaction. As CFO I loved keeping the organizational scorecard, but what truly got me out of bed every day was the opportunity to develop powerful teams and processes, something that I didn’t get nearly enough of.
Even then my husband and I shared a desire for a remarkable life. A life that is full of effort, purpose, positive influence and joy. But most of our time was spent on work that wasn’t satisfying at all, something was seriously wrong.
We had an epiphany, yet one that took over a year to truly coalesce. Life and work are more than just a paycheck. We both finished our master’s degrees in organizational development and recognized what we had been missing. After much experiential and academic research, we understood that a satisfying life as an employee and high organizational profitability are not mutually exclusive, they actually work together in an upward spiral. We found when you combine:
Individuals willing to identify their life’s purpose and offer their best effort
Organizations with their own clear purpose, robust communication, employee development and powerful performance management
Remarkable lives and remarkable business success.
We were most definitely aided in this revelation by trailblazing writers and researchers such as Peter Drucker, Nilofer Merchant, Daniel Pink and Daniel Goleman. But for us, it was revelatory because of the simple fact that everywhere we looked, people and companies were trading their precious time for paychecks and nothing more. This unremarkable exchange leads to dissatisfying lives and corporate mediocrity.
We recognized our purpose was to help individuals and organizations change this exchange from “meh” to “remarkable”. We also recognized the need to help both individuals and organizations adapt to this new era of greater turbulence, fast-paced change and increased purpose.
We founded Marble Arch officially in January of 2012. We decided to focus our work with organizations, knowing it was where we could make the greatest impact. We have since worked with many executive teams to develop the structures, cultures and behaviors that dramatically increase employee engagement, satisfaction and effort. We often have the opportunity to closely link individual purpose with organizational purpose, re-igniting a fire that is visible on an employee’s face. We are very lucky consultants.
I first met Teri, the founder of What’s for Work? at a community event. She radiated excitement and kindness. We began chatting and quite quickly recognized how powerful a strategic partnership with What’s for Work? could be. We love that What’s for Work? is committed to helping its members find the careers that align with their purpose.
I personally have worked one-on-one with What’s for Work? members to help them identify that sometimes elusive concept of purpose, and then supported them in adapting to a life of living that purpose. It is thrilling work, truly, to watch someone awaken to a much more satisfying way of life. What’s for Work? is such a unique community in that almost everyone I have encountered refuses to settle for anything less than remarkable.
I encourage What’s for Work? members to focus on three key areas as they work towards a remarkable life:
1. Know yourself. Know your purpose, what type of work you enjoy the most and what makes you tick.
2. Expand your network. Personal connections and referrals are exponentially more powerful in opening up opportunities than an online introduction or application.
I recently had the pleasure of talking with one What’s for Work? member who identified a company she wanted to work for. She applied for a position and didn’t get it, so she networked with a few people within the organization to prepare for the next opening. When the opportunity came, she jumped and with her new referrals landed the job!
3. Know your stories. Stories are emotional and build deeper connections than rational dialogue alone. Telling a compelling story about your greatest professional challenge or success may be just the thing that clinches the interview.
Enjoy the What’s for Work? community, enjoy living a remarkable life. I absolutely love connecting and answering questions, please e-mail me for either!
Now, ask yourself, “What is my next step?”
About the Author
Jessica Weatherford is CEO of Marble Arch Consultants, Inc. She leverages an arsenal of proven tools to help leaders adapt their strategy, culture and structure to meet the needs of the 21st century and achieve organizational excellence. She also helps individuals and leaders focus their purpose and remove obstacles standing in the way of success. Everyone receives a complimentary one hour consultation, email now to schedule yours: firstname.lastname@example.org or connect on Twitter @jvweatherford.
About What’s For Work?
The Premier Career Site for Women. http://www.whatsforwork.com
Our Mission: Provide a community that encourages members, employers and providers to work together; to inspire and help each other grow.