Finding Purpose: A Life Checkup

Author: Moses Rivera, PhD Student in Industrial Organizational Psychology.

Recently in the hospitality industry, job insecurity and layoffs have been particularly devastating. For these workers, the anxiety of seeking employment—sometimes outside of their primary industry of expertise—is all too real. In this frustration and confusion, it can be easy to lose sight of the trajectory of our lives, leaving us feeling like we are in a state of limbo.

Last week in the final workshop of our Fall 2020 series on isolation, Dr. Connie Wanberg, Professor and Industrial Relations Faculty Excellence Chair at the University of Minnesota, shared her insight on the importance of addressing this feeling of limbo. Her research on unemployment and job-seeking behaviors has demonstrated that people are more successful in their job search when they do not neglect the other areas of their lives. These areas include health, family, finances, hobbies, relationships, and social life.

The good news is that we can take measures to re-align ourselves. In collaboration with TRT Trainee Moses Rivera, Dr. Wanberg led us through a life inspiration model as a tool for getting back in sync with our life’s purpose by looking at all of the major life areas that are important to us.

Often, we can identify a couple domains in our lives that we tend to focus on at the expense of other things. For many of us, our jobs and career are culprits. However, the life inspiration model calls for us to make specific goals in all areas of our lives, in order to achieve the sense of balance that we’re missing. Maybe you’ve noticed you haven’t been reaching out to your friends as much as you’d like, or maybe it’s been more difficult to eat well and exercise for your health. By taking a moment to reflect on who and what is important to you, you’re taking the first step towards getting back in sync with your life purpose—whatever that might be for you.

Throughout our month-long Fall 2020 workshop series, we’ve had the pleasure of inviting experts from various disciplines to learn more about how employees in the people-oriented profession of hospitality can adjust to the isolation of living and working during COVID-19. Video recordings of all of the workshops are available for anyone to watch and share. We’re grateful for our partnership with the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management in this endeavor, and we hope it has been useful for you, your colleagues, and friends in these difficult times.