5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself About Hope at Work

What do you really want? is a weekly conversation to help you figure out what you really want and how to get it at work and in life.


Hope is the expectation that good will come, a feeling of trust. But hope isn't just a trait for our personal or religious selves—it’s also a trait we should cultivate for our work.

How I got my first internship is one time I saw hope lead to a big change in my work.

I walked up to the last booth of a company in my field at a college career fair. I was disappointed to hear that the recruiter “wasn’t looking for interns, only full-time”.

I dejectedly walked away, but then turned back around, “well, if your company were to recruit an intern, who would I talk to about that?”

He sized me up for a few seconds, then handed me his business card with the name of a colleague written on it and asked me to email for an intro. That one moment of boldness was the seed of an incredible experience. That internship led to my building skills in bioinformatics, web development, design, consulting, databases, etc. Many skills I have used in my career came from that single moment of boldness.

I wouldn't have shown courage at that moment if I didn't have hope. I believed something would work out and was doing everything in my power to go above and beyond to find that good.

I had written down my goal of getting an internship. I’d gotten encouragement from wise people in my life, including my father. I’d prayed for help. I was ready with a positive mindset.

FYI: This is one story I told in my Career Q&A with my good friend and inspiration for me to start my own newsletter, Nathan Tanner.

Questions for you to consider about hope in the way you act in your work:

  • Have I written down what I hope happens? How often do I think about that?

  • Who creates more hope about the future? How can I interact with them a little more often?

  • How can I start with what's going well? (This is helpful for team meetings, project syncs, retrospectives, and 1:1s)

  • Am I feeding my mind with hopeful ideas and information? Right now more than ever it's easy to get sucked into negative media and let that cloud everything in your life.

  • How can I share more hope with those on my team? (Both for what we can accomplish together and what they can accomplish)

How has hope positively impacted your work?

I am grateful for my source of hope, Jesus Christ. Happy Easter. #HearHim