Jakarta. Professionals often lack passion and joy in their careers because they are more concerned with material achievements rather than a desire to help others flourish, said Hugh Whelchel, executive director of the United States-based Institute for Faith, Work and Economics, or IFWE.
Speaking during a one-day motivational conference themed "How Then Should We Work?" at Pelita Harapan University (UPH) in Tangerang, Banten, on Saturday (09/09), Whelchel addressed the more than 3,000 guests on the mistakes people make when setting their ultimate career goals.
He cited the result of a Gallup poll, which indicated that 77 percent of Americans hated their jobs. The situation in Indonesia is no better, as many workers consider their jobs only as "a means to an end," he said. The minimum 45-hour working week and long commutes greatly contribute to their discontentment.
"People are looking for their own things in work; people are looking for significance. We're looking to become famous; we're looking for a lot of money. There are so many different motivations behind why we want to work, but we really don't know our purpose," Whelchel said.
"So, if we begin to realize the purpose of all work […] it's all about helping the community we serve to flourish. If you're looking to work a job just to become famous or to make money, you'll just be disappointed if you fail to meet your expectations," he said.
Whelchel said the dynamics of today's working world encourage those who want to be successful to have an orientation towards the community's peace and prosperity. Thus, a desire to help others grow must be applied at places of work.
"If we go to work with an attitude [of] I'm gonna go and do everything I can to help other people do well, to see other people flourish, you will flourish as well. That's the thing we're not taught [but] we need to learn, because it's the secret of finding true fulfilment and true purpose in the mundane things you do every day at work," said the businessman, who resides in the US state of Virginia.
He concluded by saying that a solution to facing the challenges in a dynamic world is by better understanding the notion of loving and serving others.
Whelchel had 30 years' experience in the business world before establishing IFWE in 2011. The nonprofit organization seeks to help people who wish to experience greater fulfilment in their careers.