Monkey See, Monkey Do

Last week, we explored the realm of purpose and what it might’ve meant to us individually.  Well, here’s the issue… Having and feeling that purpose is just one piece of the equation.  In order to “boost” purpose itself, we must ask ourselves this… How can we better our view of work, that is, as a source of fulfillment in our lives?  In order to actually answer this, who better to turn our attention to than the youngsters who will one day enter the workforce?

According to recent research and the Imperative Workforce Purpose Index, there is an incredibly strong and inevitable connection between an individual’s work orientation and their perception they developed regarding their parents’ orientation to work.  While this all makes total sense in our heads, as I’m sure you’ve already taken a moment to stare into the thin air before you, and think that very thought, there’s no big surprise here.  Monkey see, monkey do, right?  Kids who sensed that their parents had a healthy orientation to work simply followed suit as if it were hereditary. 

This all being said, it’s been proven important to know that how we talk to our children (and young ones in general) about work) may have a lofty impact on how they view work for the rest of their lives.

Keeping on the topic of kids, it’s been suggested that our education system should consider further exploring the role it can play in better preparing students to see work as that source of fulfillment that was earlier mentioned.

Why shouldn’t we be holding our education system accountable for the percentage of graduates who bear an acute purpose-orientation to work?  Why do we continue to question whether or not our education system is providing students with the competencies and abilities to build a career around fulfills their lives (aka, what we know as the 3 sources of fulfillment: relationships, impact, and growth.  If we want our purpose-oriented workers to be able to make informal decisions about employment based on their likelihood to thrive at an organization, we can’t only require the support of our employers. 

Whether you’re just about to take the plunge and enter into the workforce, or you’ve been punching the clock for the last 30 years, the truth is boosting purpose comes as a result of those who support us most.  Parents, educators, and policy-makers have more power than they probably ever envisioned.  They have purpose-oriented workers to raise, and an ever-growing demand of jobs and systems to steer them toward.   


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