Why Is Meaningful Work Important To Everyone?

meaningful work smallAre you doing meaningful work?  Recently I met a lawyer at a networking meeting.  She’d left the practice of law and told me she now worked on strategy and advancement for The Plummer Home for Boys.  We spoke about her work and she told me that she found her work both satisfying and meaningful.  It was apparent that she loved it by the way she spoke.

How about you?  Meaningful work is something that Millennials have said is important to them.  If you are not a millennial why should you care about meaningful work?  Malcom Gladwell says “It’s not how much money ultimately we make that makes us happy between 9-5; it’s whether our work fulfills us.” Do you agree?

Are You Happy at Work?

happy-at-work-saidaonlineSo if like me you want to be happy at work then it is important to find work that fulfills us.  For some people their calling is loud and clear but to others of us (myself included) it remains a bit hidden and it takes some work to uncover exactly what makes work meaningful.

Since I’ve struggled with this myself I love helping people find their own answer.  We are all different so the way to meaningful work is an uncharted and different path for everyone and the road to it is winding with many ways to get off track.

Many people try to describe meaningful work but since meaningful work for you may be different they can only give you clues as to where to look and what to look for.  The process is a bit messy and so left brain thinkers may find it challenging.  I know I did.

Finding what meaningful work is for you may also be time consuming.  You will need to use your intuition and may take a few wrong paths before finding your calling.  Are you up for the challenge?

Is this a life long journey?

journeySometimes something feels like a calling for a number of years and then something inside you shifts and it is time to reassess.  So for some of us finding meaningful work can be a life long journey.  That is why learning the process and reviewing it each time a shift occurs is so important.

Each time you do the work of self-discovery you learn a little more about yourself.  The process allows you to grow.  Rather than starting all over you know some of what is important to you and can use that to build upon.

In my work I find that even those who think they have their true calling like doctors, dentists, and other professionals at some point find they want to do something different.  It is not just millenials that are looking.  Currently there is a surge of baby boomers looking to “reinvent themselves” for an encore career. One criterion?  That the work be meaningful!

If finding meaningful work is going to be a life long journey then it is important to have the search for meaningful work start immediately.  Even if you are doing meaningful work, you can start by making a list of the more fulfilling characteristics of the work that stand out for you.

If that seems difficult then start with the things you hate about the work you do.  The goal is to maximize what you like and minimize what you don’t like.  If you become more aware of what your “perfect work” looks like, then you’ll know it when you see it!

Don’t forget feelings in describing your work.  What gives you those satisfying happy feelings?  And of course what gives you stress and angst that you’d like to eliminate. Write your list down.

What does a career transition coach do?

peersonal development coach2When I coach people who are looking for meaningful work I step them through this beginning process.  My role is to ask questions and dig deeper so that the person has an even better understanding of what he/she is looking for and what is getting in the way.

I also use assessments to stimulate the person’s thoughts about his/her strengths, values and behavior.  If you think this might help you, call me so we can discuss how we could work together.  My telephone number is 781-598-0388. There is no charge for the initial call and no obligation either.

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To ignite the spark within you, get your free values assessment, newsletter and tips list to be happy at work.