What do you most want from your job or business? Money? Opportunities? Security? Flexibility? If you’re like most people who are asked this question, chances are the number one thing you want from your work is meaning. Most people care most about doing something that matters and feeling that what we do has purpose in the world, for both ourselves and others.
I’ve condensed authors’ ideas about creating meaning in your own work, or helping others to find it in theirs, into these 3 tips. I hope you find it meaningful for you.
- Figure out how your work benefits others. Some fields serve others more obviously, e.g. those people literally saving lives. Your contribution may be less dramatic yet also significant – the key is to identify how you make a difference. In my business, I often help people focus on their own successes and sharing them or creating new opportunities and wins.
- Share how others appreciate your work. It’s well documented that humans share the need to be respected, valued and appreciated. When I get letters from clients thanking us for our work, referrals from happy clients or awards for our efforts, I take the time to enjoy and share the praise with my team so that we are all reminded of the value of our work.
- Develop a deeper understanding of issues. Microsoft found that after developers met customers they better understood issues and felt motivated to design change with them in mind. Checking your empathy personally, or in your team, can refocus the work you do. It sounds simple but many of us focus too often on the task, not the ultimate aim of why we do what we do.
If your work is something you love, it will offer clarity, drive, and happiness in your life beyond your working hours – Samuel Johnson just won the Gold Logie award and it wasn’t just for acting! If your work is meaningful, research shows that you’re also more likely to stick with it in the long run, which means you’re more likely to be successful as a result. Go do what you love and it will show.
Please feel welcome to reply to me in the comments, I love your feedback.