Part 2 of 5 for the October edition of "Converging over Coffee"
Contribution - the desire to have an impact - is a huge topic today. Understandably so, as it is an integral element of the human spirit. Whether spoken or unspoken, conscious or subconscious, you can bet that it is on every young or senior professional’s mind.
It is true that for some jobs, it is inherently easy to see how they are meaningful in the outcomes they produce and that we will likely be making positive impact by being involved. That’s a popular thought and one that corporations use frequently to attract talent. But it’s also true that not everyone onboard will feel like they actually HAVE an impact and many still struggle to find it. You might be someone like that. I definitely went through several patches of that, even when working on important, impactful projects.
Self-discovery I believe is the missing link. The source of impact & contribution isn’t external (something the job will give us) and isn’t passive. Impact & contribution is meant to be proactive and meant to be internal (something we have to learn and turn into acts that we build upon progressively). Lots we can do to advance our state of self-discovery but starting to reframe things from external to internal is a great start. Whether we're working on a meaningful project or a more routine one, it pays to always question how we might make the best use of our strengths to create stronger impact - internally driven & proactive. Progress is slow when we wait for meaningful tasks to come along - externally driven & passive.
So in short... Don’t just crave to have an impact. Go make an impact.