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How to Find Your Purpose in 2016

Purpose is important.

“Business experts make the case that purpose is a key to exceptional performance, while psychologists describe it as the pathway to greater well-being,” note Nick Craig and Scott Snook, co-authors of a Harvard Business Review article that examines the value of purpose-driven professionals and businesses.

At Vertex, we wholeheartedly agree with both points. Just ask any of our leaders, including our CEO, Jeff Westphal, who for years has reminded all of us that we are cathedral-builders rather than brick-layers.

Jeff also has a unique, and consistent, response ready whenever he is asked to describe what our company does: We help our partners make the world healthier, happier and smarter. Yes, we are the leader in tax technology, but our purpose is to deploy our software to save our customers time and money. That way, these companies can invest far more energy and resources to developing new life-saving medicines, producing more food, making tastier coffee, designing more life-changing technology and so forth.

Since Vertex has long operated as an organization that promotes meaningful work, we also look for personally-driven professionals who want to be part of something greater. Becoming a professional that performs meaningful work begins with identifying one’s purpose. A growing collection of experts, including Craig (who is president of the Authentic Leadership Institute) and Snook (a Harvard University professor), offer useful frameworks for finding meaningful work. These processes typically include a straightforward, multi-step exercise addressing four questions, which are similar to ones that HIVE CEO, Ryan Allis has put forth in some of his materials:

  1. What do you love doing? This is your passion.
  2. What are you good at? These sets of skills show where your passion intersects with your profession.
  3. What can you be paid for? This shows where your passion meets your skill set.
  4. What does the world need? This shows where your occupation meets your purpose.

Vertex needs people with a wide range of professional skills, but most of all we need cathedral-builders who believe in helping the world become a healthier, tastier, more efficient and happier place.

Please remember that the Tax Matters provides information for educational purposes, not specific tax or legal advice. Always consult a qualified tax or legal advisor before taking any action based on this information.


About this Contributor

Colleen Kirk Headshot
Colleen Kirk
Director Organizational Development

Colleen Kirk is Director of Organizational Development at Vertex where she is responsible for enabling cross functional teams to successfully manage change. She has over 20 years of professional experience in organizational development and change management, and supports the Talent Management efforts within Vertex. Colleen has a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior Studies from Immaculata University and will complete her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from St. Joseph’s University in May of 2014.

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