How Do You Find Meaningful Work

How do you find meaningful work? Or does it find you? You may be surprised to learn that your work can provide an opportunity to live your purpose and make a meaningful difference — no matter what the role.

Nothing Can Give You Meaning

Dr. Christi Hegstad, an author, speaker, and leadership coach, asserts that you don’t get meaning from a certain title, role, or activity. You find meaning by ascribing meaning to what you do. Whether you are the receptionist or plant manager at a medical devices company, for example, if you decide that you’re involved in saving lives, that’s how you find meaningful work.

There once was a manufacturing company that made medical devices. Employees loved working there because they believed they were saving lives, which felt very purposeful. Eventually, however, the company became concerned primarily with its stock price. As the focus shifted to making money for its shareholders instead of saving lives, employees began jumping ship and looking elsewhere to find meaningful work.

You Bring Meaning to Work with You

Hegstad gives a great 30-day plan for meaningful work. It begins with exploring your values and actively incorporating them into your work. Here are a few of her suggestions:

  • Select a project that engages your strengths. Underpromise and overdeliver.
  • Write your ideal job description. Ask yourself how you could start bringing part of it to life.
  • Make a list of 10+ career triumphs — moments when you truly felt in the zone, energized, and doing exactly what you were meant to do.
  • Map your work’s ripple effect. How do you make a difference for your coworkers, customers, family, community, and the world at large?
  • Ask your supervisor for suggestions to help you grow, flourish, and make his/her job easier.

You Bring Meaning to Relationships

Her suggestions to help you find meaningful work aren’t just limited to job responsibilities–they extend to workplace relationships. Hegstad advocates expressing gratitude, asking others how you can help them flourish, giving sincere compliments, and sharing your knowledge to develop someone else to add meaning to your work day.

You Decide What You Need to Succeed

At Amtec, our recruiters converse daily with people who are considering making a change. Our goal is to help people find a job that is the right fit, not just plug a hole in some random organization. And finding the right fit means knowing what you want and need in your next job. A true career move should be about more than just increased compensation–it should stretch your skills, offer more potential, and/or increase your job satisfaction and impact.

Because a career move is a growth opportunity, we encourage career seekers to make a career scorecard. It’s important to assess your needs in these four categories before you begin interviewing to find more meaningful work:

  1. Company–What kind of organization do you want to belong to? What kind of culture do you work best within?
  2. Opportunity–What kind of improved opportunity are you seeking?
  3. Boss–What type of boss and managerial style will you need in order to thrive and give your best performance?
  4. Compensation–What kind of salary, benefits, and perks do you want in light of your skills, qualifications, and experience?

Creating your own personal scorecard before each career move is important because what may provide purpose for one person might not feel purposeful to another. What once gave you meaning in a previous career move may not be what you now need in your next career move.

Can you find meaningful work? Yes, living out your purpose and making a difference are within your grasp. Take stock of your values, incorporate those values into your work, evaluate how your actions ultimately impact others, and decide that what you’re doing matters.

Candidates, do we have the most current version of your resume? If not, click here to post it, and visit our job board for professional and technical jobs while you’re at it! You or a friend might be a good fit for one of our open positions. Also, join our Talent Network to receive updates and alerts with new job opportunities that match your interests.

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