By CK Lin, Head of Culture at VideoAmp

Take a second to ask yourself this question. Does your company have a purpose? Maybe the answer is “Yeah, to make a lot of money” or “Maybe, I’m pretty sure it does have a higher purpose.” Cool, but what is it? Do you genuinely connect with it? Does it matter to you? Maybe it’s “another day, another dollar” syndrome. Life is too short for that. Most people spend more than half their lives working. If you’re going to work, it’s probably best you know why you’re working and how you feel about that.

Why Purpose Matters
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “He who has a why to live for can endure almost any how.”

We are living in the wealthiest time in the history of human existence, yet employee engagement isn’t on the same trajectory. According to Gallup, 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged in their work. Many are simply repeating the cycle of going to college, getting whatever job they can to make good money, and calling it a day… and in a broader sense, calling it a life.

Would you describe your mornings something like this?

“I naturally wake up nowadays. I don’t need to look at the clock because I already know what time it is. There was a time when I had to set an alarm and find a good reason to drag myself out of bed. Now, I wake up thinking about the project that we’re working on at my company, and I can’t wait to get there and jump straight into it. Our mission is clear, and every morning feels like I am getting closer and closer to accomplishing it.”

It is possible to live that kind of life. You just need your “why.”

What’s it like to work for a company whose purpose you believe in? How does it feel to wake up in the morning excited about making personal and professional progress every single day?  It takes a lot more than well-placed coffee machines and Ping-Pong tables to bring deep drive and purpose into your work and lifestyle. Talented people with high ambitions deserve more, and luckily, they can have it. They just need to find a company with a purpose that aligns with their values.

Do You Really Care?
Are you over the whole “Get a job to make a living to keep working and get promotions doing something you don’t like to make better money to retire” lifestyle?

Good.

You know there’s more to life, so how can you find companies that actually have substance, purpose, and real culture? Perhaps the first step is to make sure you really, really want it. See if there’s a flicker of a flame inside you that desires more. Chances are, you do. Focused, direct intention will drive you to find it. The next step is to seek out a company that speaks to your core values and has a mission you can form a long-term bond with.

4 things you’ll notice about purpose-driven companies:

  1. They talk about their purpose
    • A company that doesn’t talk about their purpose doesn’t really live it; it’s just a good idea without any real intention,excitement, or execution. At a purpose-driven company, it’s integrated into the culture and is a primary source of energy for all involved.  
  2. They have a laser-sharp focused mission
    • You can feel it when a company isn’t focused on its mission. You can feel it in the building and maybe even on their website. One way you might gauge this is by checking out the “About Us.” Does it look like every other company’s? Well, that’s probably because it pretty much is. Look for original language and a sense of authentic excitement and tone throughout the company’s communications.
  3. Their core values are specific
    • A purpose-driven company knows how to articulate its values.. With more specific values, you can get to know whether or not this company is right for you. “Honest” and “Hardworking” are not sufficient for a company that has a genuine purpose. A company that doesn’t explain its values in a clear way most likely does not have clearly defined values.
  4. They vividly describe their long-term milestones and how they will affect your life
    • They don’t try to entice you with short-term pleasures like well-stocked cupboards, happy hours, coffee, and basic entertainment. They talk to you about how you’ll achieve milestones together in the long term. This is something a purposeless company just doesn’t do.

Purpose in Action – Live It
One of our core values at VideoAmp is collaboration, but what does that mean? When you live it, it’s easy to explain it. Everyone feels free to speak to everyone, and collaboration is company-wide, not just limited to those in your circle. Employees have access to industry veterans with specialized skills on a daily basis, there isn’t that rigid hierarchical structure making you feel like certain individuals are “too important” or “high up” for you to communicate with, and everyone is approachable. That’s the kind collaboration that we foster.

Keep an eye out for companies that can explain their values rather than throwing warm-sounding words out there.

“Unconventional” should be the way you’d describe a company with purpose. Companies with purpose are always doubling down in what they believe in, whereas purposeless companies simply go with the tide.

When you have purpose, you have a sense of excitement about what you do, and you work at a place where you get to absorb and bounce that same energy off of other colleagues who are also excited about what they’re doing.

If you feel out of place, chances are it’s because your company doesn’t align with your personal values and purpose.

A truly purpose-driven company will take you to the next stage of your life and career. Waking up in the morning becomes exciting, and you’re filled with energy. You’ll flourish with the knowledge that you’re not simply working a job, but building a legacy.