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Forbes
Purpose isn’t just another buzzword. For workers of all ages, purpose is the new paycheck, and it’s a trend that’s here to stay. Whether your work experience spans three years or three decades, know that most people lose sight of their “why” every once in a while, and we want to help you remember yours.

Vicky Valet, Careers Editor

Day 1: Define purpose

On average, people spend 90,000 hours on the job over the course of their lives. So it’s no wonder that nine in 10 workers would take a pay cut if it meant having the opportunity to participate in more purposeful work. But what is “purpose,” and do we really have to have it?

Day 2: Establish what you have

Before you can rediscover your purpose, you should identify your passions, your talents and what you have: a job, a career or a calling. One isn’t better than another, but it’s important to know which one you have and which one you want.

Day 3: Remember what drives you

Now that you’ve established what you have and what you want, it’s time to sit back and reflect on the last time you felt a sense of purpose and when you lost it. By looking at yourself from a different perspective, you’ll be able to do just that.

Day 4: Put purpose in perspective

Are you setting the bar too high when it comes to finding purpose at work? Learn how many meaningful moments people actually need, according to research, in order to love their work—and their lives.

Day 5: Take stock of your days

If meaning is found in particular moments, you should account for how you’re spending yours. Grab a pencil and paper and get ready to sketch out your typical day through these three exercises, meant to reveal the times you’re most likely to rediscover your purpose.

Day 6: Understand how you fit

This may sound like a simple matter, one that can be resolved by reviewing an organizational chart, but understanding how you fit in your organization is about much more than knowing to whom everyone reports. To truly gain insight into how you fit in, you should have a conversation with your manager.

Day 7: Craft your tasks

You don’t have to change jobs to rediscover your purpose—in fact, sometimes all it takes is a little redesign. This is your guide to the first phase of job crafting: task crafting.

Day 8: Invest in your career

At a time when the skills you need to succeed change more quickly than you can update your resume, career development is an absolute must. But investing in your professional growth is about much more than making yourself marketable—it’s something you do for you and can help you find fulfillment at work.

Day 9: Craft your relationships

A relationship strategy is probably not an explicit part of your career development plan, but it should be. Learn how to create one and how to align your daily interactions with your purpose.

Day 10: Find your balance

When you take care of yourself outside the office, you lay the foundation for your career to thrive in the long term. Here are a few simple strategies anyone can utilize to create a better work-life balance.

Day 11: Craft your perceptions

You can do all the task and relationship crafting you want, but if you don’t do the same with your perceptions, you’re not going to get all that far. Perception crafting is all about changing the way you think about your job and about when and how you experience meaning at work.

Day 12: Connect with something bigger

When just four in 10 employees say the mission of their company makes them feel as though their job matters, it’s no wonder so many people spend their days questioning their role in the bigger picture. The good news is that you can take steps toward bridging this gap.

Day 13: Look outside the office

If you’re struggling to rediscover your purpose inside the office, why not look outside? No, that doesn’t necessarily mean a job search is in order—volunteer work or even a side project you’re passionate about should do the trick.

Day 14: Learn how to say what you want

At a time when employee turnover costs companies upwards of $600 billion annually, chances are that your boss would rather make a few adjustments to your role than risk losing you and affecting the company’s bottom line. The key is to take everything you’ve learned about what drives you and present your redesigned role to your manager in a way that will benefit both you and the business.

Day 15: Embrace the journey

You’ve defined purpose, taken stock of your days and crafted every aspect of your job. But it’s likely that what you consider to be fulfilling today will change over the course of your life. Whether or not you’ve been reminded of the “why” behind your work, embrace the journey.

Bonus

In this week’s episode of Forbes’ What’s Ahead podcast, David Bahnsen, the author of The Case for Dividend Growth: Investing in a Post-Crisis World, explains why dividend growth investing is the best opportunity for passive wealth creation. Subscribe for free to What’s Aheadon Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

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