On purpose

Why do we do what we do? 

What drives us to become ethics and compliance professionals? How does a person navigate the first 25 or 35 years of their life to land on this path?

Let’s be honest. Compliance work is difficult work. Where does the fire in our belly come from that makes us want to do this? Is it because we have a love for rules? Is it because we are crushed as the sight of injustice?

Some of us seek virtue, knowing that it will lead to order, fairness and justice. We long for significance through honest connections with others. Those connections reduce our existential angst. We give of ourselves out of a selfish drive to matter. 

We become social animals so that we don’t die while we are living. The same desire leads others to become doctors, educators, firefighters, farmers, actors or soldiers. Like us, they find meaning in purpose, and happiness in the pure joy of the work.

Meanwhile, others run away from their existential angst by seeking immediate rewards that are, at best, external to their work and, at worst, obtained through cheating, lying and stealing. They don’t enjoy the work. They are unhappy and wasting their life.

Why do we do what we do?

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