Carolyn Tate on finding purpose in your work (without quitting your job!)

Carolyn Tate on finding your purpose (without quitting your job!)

When Carolyn Tate was last on the show we had an incredible conversation about conscious capitalism, B Corps and ethical manufacturing. During that chat we scratched the surface of a bigger idea – that of purpose – but I knew there was more to discover.

Since we last spoke, Carolyn has written a book about purpose, The Purpose Project – A Handbook to Bringing Meaning to Life at Work, and it’s that topic we dive deep in to in today’s episode.

If you’ve listened to the show for any length of time you’ll know that the idea of finding your personal Why is central to slow living. Once we know why we want to slow down and what we want our lives to stand for we can begin to form a foundation on which we build a simpler, slower, more intentional life. A life of purpose.

Unfortunately I think purpose often gets mixed in with the more prevalent and sexy notion of ‘passion’ and in this week’s poggie Carolyn and I discuss the important difference between a life built upon passion and a life built upon purpose.

I’m also asked a lot about finding slow-ness in a workplace that doesn’t value it, and Carolyn has some really practical advice for people looking to cultivate purpose in their work, rather than sell all their stuff and go live on a beach in Thailand (as nice as that sounds sometimes!).

We also talk specifically about people who work in corporate jobs (an area I have virtually no experience in) and what individuals can do to cultivate purpose in their work, or how they as an individual can have an impact on the wider purpose of the organisation they work for.

The truth is, corporations aren’t going anywhere, and Carolyn is passionate about helping people turn corporations in to places of purpose (not lip service) and firmly believes that positive global change lies on the other side of purpose.



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10 Responses to Carolyn Tate on finding purpose in your work (without quitting your job!)

  1. Is anyone else having problems with sound on the podcast? Brooke’s voice fades in and out (and sometimes Ben’s, but mostly Brooke!) It’s been over the last 4 or 5 podcasts and I’ve tried downloading them again, but the same thing happens. Do I have a weird gremlin or is it something the podcast?!

  2. This was really great you guys. I actually stopped to take notes, which I would never normally do. Like, very weird for me. Anyway, there were several ‘aha’ moments, so thank you.

  3. I really enjoyed this talk with Carolyn!!! It made me realised a I’ve a purpose in my work. :) :) It gave me energy to pursue it with greater enthusiasm! :) A thank you from Portugal to you three, Brook, Ben and Carolyn!

  4. Wow this popped into my world in a very timely manner.
    I have been considering leaving my large place of employment.
    But now Im nadly scribbling notes and understanding that I can change my focus and bring my purpose to my workplace. Thank you!!!!

  5. You found me in exactly the place where I’m at – entertaining nutty ideas about entrepreneurship while sitting, somewhat dissatisfied, in a pretty plush corporate job. I had attributed my negative feelings about this work to the minimizing/decluttering I’ve been at for a few months now. Really, I think you’re right in that I made the space to be more aware of my situation. The answer isn’t self-marketing some skill I don’t want to hustle on my own – it’s making this work better for me. A thousand thanks from a small office in a big law firm in Washington DC.

  6. I listened to this episode today (rather late, sorry) and I must say it was exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve been questioning my career/job for over 3 years now, and I still don’t know if it’s for me. But that aside, I have dedicated many years of training to it and it hasn’t come without effort.
    I must admit, I have been feeling the pressure to quit my corporate job and find something more “meaningful”. I work in a hospital and I do think that it is a very noble profession, although albeit sometimes it just doesn’t mentally stimulate me in the way I want it to. Which brings me to wonder…does work have to tick all the boxes? Should I be looking for outside interests to bring into my role, like Carolyn says?