10 ways to find purpose in the job you already have right now

Finding purpose in your career does not necessarily mean you have to drop your current employment to build orphanages in Cambodia or become a community organizer à la Barack Obama. And considering the rising unemployment rates that won't go back down anytime soon, most of us do not have the time or the financial resources to make a career change right this moment.

So what can we do? We may not necessarily be in the purpose-driven career of our dreams, but that should not stop us from finding purpose in our current jobs starting today. If everything happens in this universe for a reason and right now the universe is telling you to stick at your current gig, here are 10 action steps to bring more purpose to the job that you already have.

1. Be Thankful. Think the universe is depriving you of the job of your dreams? Think again. Nearly 1 in every 10 people in the United States are unemployed. If you have a job right now, the universe is generously providing you with the opportunity to earn income, and provide for yourself and your family. Let your current job encourage you to ruminate on what a blessing it is to have a job right now when so many countless people are desperate for anything, no matter how overqualified and underpaid they are. Let your current job bring a greater sense of gratitude to your life, which will spread outward to the people close to you.

2. Develop More Empathy for Others. Even if your job is the most solitary of all jobs, chances are some parts of it involve human interaction--whether in person, on the telephone, or by e-mail. If your current job is making you miserable due to the people you have to interact with--whether it comes in the form of a mean boss, annoying customer or back-stabbing co-worker--use this opportunity to expand your sense of empathy. Put yourself in the other person's shoes. See what you can do to grow from interacting with this person, instead of having it ruin your day. Consider it a test of compassion that'll prepare you for the next job of your dreams.

3. Exercise your Sense of Discipline. No dream or life purpose can be achieved without rock-star discipline. So if you're stuck at the job that is not your most ideal career, use this opportunity to practice discipline so that no matter what opportunity comes along your way in the future, you know you will execute it with maximum efficiency and productivity. Wake up early. Start work on time. Limit your dawdling on online social networks and e-mails. Take initiative on projects that have to be done that no one else is volunteering for. No matter what job you have now, growing your iron discipline will propel you to any place your heart desires.

4. Make the People Around you More Green. No matter what job you are in, you can use your current employment as the means to make everyone around you more green. Such as: printing on both sides of the paper instead of one, carpooling with your co-workers, recycling discarded paper, using public transportation, or in the case of Intent, participating in a volunteer beach clean-up! Even if you're not working for Greenpeace or tackling green-building initiatives in the community, your humble job can still save the planet, one recycled printer paper sheet at a time.

5. Bring More Joy to Others. You can actually listen with non-judgment when you have to handle a notoriously difficult client. Or you can bring extra care and compassion to your customers with a genuine smile that will lift their busy and stressful day. Take a page from the enlightened masters who radiate joy no matter where they are or what unpleasant situation they are in. No matter what your present job title description says, you can do it, too.


By Yumi Sakugawa on Intent.com