Work gives you money, which is nice. You also get titles. Those things are great, but they’re not the only things that matter in life. Money and labels don’t make you happy. They merely get you an income.
Unfortunately, many people find themselves playing out a role that they don’t necessarily enjoy, and they don’t even know it. For example, there are many examples of people with beautiful careers but who don’t understand the meaning of what they do.
They spend their entire life doing work that may be meaningful for others, and sometimes people love them for it. But deep down, they don’t truly understand the meaning of their work until much later in life, at which point it’s no longer possible for them to continue.
But anyone can find meaning in their career. A fulfilling career leads to a more fulfilling life.
I have used these strategies to make my career more meaningful:
Find work that has benefit to others. The main indicator that a person finds meaning in their jobs is believing that their work positively impacts others.
- If you can imagine yourself doing the job that you have, day in and day out for years, then that’s a good sign that you’ve found meaning in your career. Most of the time, our work tends to impact others positively.
- But the people who benefit from the results of our hard work are usually too far away for us to realise our impact on their lives. For instance, some jobs require people to sit long hours on help lines.
- Work such as this tends to be repetitive, and people face many rude customers. Naturally, many give up along the way. The point is a person that doesn’t realise the impact of their work on the lives of others won’t find meaning in their job.
- In essence, The more meaningful the job is, the more rewarding it is.
If you’re a leader, let people know that their work benefits others. If you look at many successful leaders, you’ll notice that they always look for opportunities to praise their employees.
- For example, they always ask people about their work on a day-to-day basis, and they ensure that they know that they’re doing good work. If you lead a team, always reward them for their work. It doesn’t have to be an award, for instance. Even simply acknowledging their efforts with a “thank you”, goes a long way.
- This is because motivation is essential, and when a team doesn’t feel motivated, they’ll leave.
Aim to become the best at your job. Pay attention to what you need to do and watch how people who are successful in your field people do it. Ask people, who know what you want to become, for advice on getting there and what skills you need to learn.
- How does becoming the best at your job help you find meaning? If someone does a good job and feels like they’re good at their job, they’re more likely to continue doing the job. But, if they aren’t good at the job, they’ll look for pastures new.
- They’ll feel stuck and unhappy, and they’ll want to make a change. A person that sets goals and stretches forward to achieve them gains energy and an increased sense of meaning, because it makes them feel like they’re doing something important. That’s a great feeling.
Finding meaning in your career or job is all about being true to yourself and not settling for mediocrity. Passion, finding the work interesting, and continuing to grow and learn also help.
For example, suppose you specialise in a specific topic, like social media marketing. In that area, you could grow and learn by understanding other business in industries outside of your industry.
You can get a lot out of being passionate about your job and finding meaning in your career. Once you find a career that you can find meaning in, your life satisfaction will increase.
You don’t have to wait until you get older to do what you find meaning in.
So many of us have found meaning in what we do because we were able to throw off the shackles of life that we believed stopped us so hid behind. The reality is, we always had the opportunity. We simply weren’t paying attention or didn’t want it badly enough! I know of individuals who, for example, have walked away from high-paying corporate careers to provide a much-needed personal service for others.
People who have expressed their own creativity and commercialised it to bring joy to others.
Another that now provides a key service that never existed before, but as a social enterprise.
This desire to have more meaningful careers would have always been within them.
Think about it!