Illustrated Blog


Small self job purposing cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

One AWEsome step towards purposeful work

  We modern people aren’t quite right Are you willing to mess with your job to make a meaningful difference, or to job purpose, as this practice is called? Are you clueless as to how? If you answered yes twice, this post is for you. Before I share an awesome way to help you see job purposing possibilities all around you, let me correct a misconception. Struggling to come up with a job purposing idea doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you. Well, actually, it does. But it’s nothing that isn’t wrong with most of us 21st-century Westerners. Here’s our problem: We are unknowingly maimed because modern society has ostracized our Inner Givers, that part of us interested in contributing to others without expecting anything in return. The Inner-Giver

Tree Hugger Cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

Whatever your cause, keep talking

I’m finally under the covers, as inert as an overcooked vegetable, in my hotel bed. My mind relaxes into the sleep I’ve pined for all day. Ahhh. Then I hear it. I’m startled awake. Irate. “Ugh. I last slept 3000 air miles and 18 hours ago! I’m too tired to deal with this.” I decide to pretend that I never heard the alarming noise. No one will know. The hotel won’t charge for my neglect. It doesn’t work. The sound jars me awake continuously. Not because it’s loud, but because of what it means. I’m hearing the scorching of the world. You see, I opened the window but didn’t turn the thermostat off. What rings like an alarm in my tired head is nothing more than the soft hum of

Sign prohibiting emotions at work job purposing cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

At work, should you keep emotions in check?

As soon as I conclude my presentation, the grey-bearded foreman in the first row sprints to the podium. “You were a perfect 10” he tells me. “Until 5 minutes ago. Then you blew it.” He holds his session evaluation up to my face. Under “overall assessment,” the rating on which I base 90% of my self-worth, he circled 4 on the 1-10 scale. Ouch. What made my final few minutes so heinous that my performance plummeted 60% to profound mediocrity? Emotion. In the concluding exercise, participants planned ways to help a colleague made homeless by a fire. It was impossible not to be moved by the display of compassion. I was among the first to pull out a tissue. Some workers, including a few grown men, sniffled and wiped away

Cliff edge cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

DARE to bring purpose to your workday

My sister, Iginia, and I are on a mountain ledge peering down a steep slope. We’re gawking instead of skiing this run because of its thick layer of ice. It will rebuff any ski edge and, thus, send us careening down several hundred feet. Backtracking is not an option. I whimper “We’re trapped” and collapse to the ground. The tactics you need Thankfully, Iginia ignores my melodrama and continues studying the terrain. “We’ll break through!” she suddenly exclaims and starts down the mountain doing just that. By making exaggerated jumps at each turn, her skis smash through the icy crust and take hold in the soft snow hidden beneath. Like that ski run, work can appear unyielding. Charity might not find any purchase in your crusty office culture. It’s easy

Job purposing cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

Woman in gorilla suit reveals why you can’t job purpose

Job purposing is simple: Do small acts through work to help others or a charitable cause. The garbage worker in Turkey salvages books in good condition for low-income families. The California hairdresser becomes trained in domestic-violence services to aid clients she suspects are victims. The marketing associate in Wisconsin gives his email campaign a charitable twist by adding one sentence encouraging participation in the fire station’s fundraising drive. These are not complex undertakings. Are you wondering why, if it’s so simple, you can’t come up with a way to purpose your job? Don’t worry. It’s not that you’re dimwitted. Job purposing might be simple but not it’s not easy, at least not initially. You’re set up to fail, as evidenced by a woman in a gorilla suit. Two research psychologists,

Papi cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

A man who loved every job he ever had shares how it’s done

The civil engineer leans against his desk. “Want to know the best part of my work?” he asks. I, the only other person in his office, nod vigorously enough for a crowd. The engineer pulls his khaki pants over his sizable belly and walks past his MIT diploma to a pinned-up blueprint of his current project. He places his nicotine-stained index finger on a small symbol that, to me, resembles a letter from a foreign alphabet. I ask the engineer, also known as dad, “What is it?” My father manages a team of road engineers for the Venezuelan Ministry of Transportation. His current charge is to eliminate chronic traffic created by the Caracas international airport which sits on a narrow strip of land between the Caribbean Sea and a formidable

Monkey job purposing cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

Is the season’s spirit of giving a natural thing?

[tm_pb_section admin_label=”section”][tm_pb_row admin_label=”row”][tm_pb_column type=”4_4″][tm_pb_text admin_label=”Text” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] Peony, being elderly and arthritic, moves with difficulty. Fortunately, members of her community fetch what she needs and steady her as she hobbles to social gatherings. Why do these individuals, most of whom are unrelated to Peony, help her without any expectation of personal benefit? Do we innately care about the well-being others? Or are we naturally selfish but society imbues us with an overlay of morality? Many philosophers through many millennia have wrestled with this question. Recent science answer it. In the case of Peony’s helpers, nature unequivocally drives their service. They have never heard a third-grade or Sunday-school teacher preach the virtues of kindness. They, and Peony, are chimpanzees who live in Emory University’s Yerkes Primate Center’s field station

Existential crisis pie cartoon by Bea Boccalandro

If your job is just “OK,” you might not be

Most of us will take half our waking breaths at work. As if this hefty contribution of time weren’t enough, we also invest emotionally. We agonize over a conflict with a colleague, obsess over a forthcoming presentation, rejoice in attaining a quarterly goal and otherwise live the ups and downs of our workplaces. No wonder we arrive home barely capable of boiling water for a macaroni dinner. Work consumes whatever enthusiasm, brilliance and patience we might have possessed upon awakening. The next day we repeat the cycle of expending most of our time and energy at the plant, store or office. In other words, work is rarely a sideshow to life. Most often, it’s the immobile core around which we find time to enjoy neighbors and family, pursue interests, find