Finding Your “Why" at Work

Take a second. Raise your head out of the rat race and ask yourself: above your job being a means to an end, are you fulfilled by your work? Do you feel a sense of purpose in what you do? If your answer isn’t immediately yes, read on to discover how you can transition to a more meaningful career and why the renewable energy sector might just be for you.

Life on autopilot

It can be easy to fall into a career path and live life on auto-pilot. Following social norms of success without real reflection. Over time, as you busy yourself accumulating experience, hitting this deadline and submitting that big project or proposal, you become embedded in a particular industry or niche. Maybe you feel like you’ve worked so long and hard to get to where you are, you can’t change course now. Even if you did, what would you do?

As humans we are hardwired to seek the path of least resistance, instinctively conserving our energy by minimising the effort required to get the job done. Yet, the mindlessness of  our ever-more comfortable lives is having profound impacts on our mental wellbeing not to mention the world we live in. Without developing greater awareness, the moments that give our life meaning can fall by the wayside and short-term fixes can overshadow a deeper sense of fulfilment from working towards and achieving more complex, long-term or highly-held goals.

Purpose, fulfilment and success

Feeling a sense of purpose has been repeatedly linked to positive mental health and personal fulfilment, and when you consider how commonplace it is to spend the majority of your waking hours working, employment seems the most obvious place to start. It may sound radical to subvert the status quo and perceived prestige, but there is a growing movement of conscious thinkers reevaluating their motivations and what success means to them (beyond job title and monetary reward), showing that seeking a happier, more purposeful life shouldn’t simply be dismissed as alternative or revolutionary.

As the benefits of mindfulness in general come to be more widely recognised, such a ‘fluffy’, philosophical exercise instead seems an increasingly valuable and necessary process for us to become the most engaged, productive and fulfilled versions of ourselves in both a personal and professional capacity.

Where to start?

Setting aside time to reflect on, refine and write down your key motivations and purpose can be a great place to start. Perhaps reflect on your ideal working day right through to what you would like your life’s work or legacy to be. You may not initially have strong or well-defined preferences, but repeated review over time can help shape your values and interests particularly as you grow and develop. Plus, just the act of focusing your attention to write down your goals makes them more likely to happen.

It can be useful to think about a range of things from small-scale tasks you enjoy, to your working style. Do you like to bounce ideas off others or do you enjoy working independently? Are you happy working from a desk or do you need to get out and about?

Once you’ve thought about the things most important to you, it’s easier to research companies whose values align with your own. Beyond seeking out those that you would feel proud to work for, you might think about their size and how they are structured. For example, smaller companies typically offer greater job variety, with fewer employees taking on a more diverse workload whereas larger companies generally have greater internal opportunity for progression as there are more roles available.

With regards to the actual role, ensure you understand exactly what certain jobs entail and the impact you’ll have. Consider if the overall cause or project you’re working towards is more important to you or if the reward and satisfaction in your everyday tasks is your primary motivation. Would you prefer a more casual, laid-back approach in the workplace or do you like a more structured or formal setting? Do you thrive in a more social setting or would you prefer to focus without added noise and distraction? Consciously being aware of your motivations and preferences will help you identify the most appropriate positions for you.

Purpose-driven careers in renewables

When it comes to the bigger picture, the renewable energy sector inherently comprises a whole host of purpose-driven careers for those striving to make the world a better place. Not only do jobs in renewables directly contribute to the fight against climate change by addressing its root cause, they enable energy independence and community development that ultimately creates a cleaner, safer and fairer world.

Furthermore, renewable careers enable sustainability through engagement with cutting-edge technologies and ground-breaking science that places employees at the forefront of innovation and change. This is a forward-thinking industry well-suited to those that find fulfilment in problem-solving and satisfaction in working on and being well-informed about the most up-to-date solutions.

The fast-paced nature of the renewable energy sector make it one of the most rewarding industries to work in for tangible outcomes. With rapidly-evolving technology and the need for continuous learning, it is an exciting field to work in, full of worthy challenges that offer greater opportunity for recognition and impact while delivering a heightened sense of achievement once overcome.

Have we piqued your interest? There are diverse positions in a whole range of disciplines, so whatever your background you can start the search for your purpose-driven career in renewables today and find enhanced fulfilment in your work, whatever your motivations and purpose.

Article by Lauren Holford

Published on March 11, 2024

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