When it comes to their career, most professionals would prefer to work in a role that feels meaningful and fulfilling. For many, simply earning a paycheck isn’t enough to stick around. They want the satisfaction of knowing the work they’re performing has a significant purpose. Finding meaningful aspects of a job can be challenging, especially for those outside of professions such as healthcare, nonprofit, and education. However, taking different perspectives can help you change your mindset and embrace the positive meaning of your work.
1. Determine your purpose
The very first thing you should consider when reflecting on your position is the purpose you serve within your organization. Every role at the company contributes differently; you’ll need to identify the specific value your presence provides. For example, Fast Company reiterates the importance of impactful work. They say, “By re-examining tasks to find their deeper meaning, a cashier might see their work as less about scanning groceries and more about helping people feed their families. Being a hairstylist might be less about giving haircuts and more about helping stressed-out people relax for a few hours.”
2. Take on new challenges
When new opportunities present themselves, don’t hesitate to take them. Upward growth is a sure sign of meaningful work. For instance, obtaining new certifications to advance in your role, or offering to help on a project you’d otherwise not be a part of, can create a more well-rounded and exciting work environment. Don’t be afraid to learn new skills that nurture what you’re passionate about.
3. Embrace autonomy
If you’re given the opportunity to work independently, acknowledge that autonomy requires trust. Being able to control your day-to-day priorities is a sign of a trusting relationship with your manager and team. Let yourself feel empowered with this ability, while also remembering the support you’re receiving from others.
In addition to working autonomously, creating a strong community can help foster meaningful work. When your colleagues become people you can effectively connect with, you are more likely to feel energized throughout the day, which can also allow you to look forward to going to work and putting in a productive performance.
5. Respect and support other positions
As we mentioned earlier, every role at an organization serves a specific purpose. Once you are aware of your own, don’t forget the purposes of your colleagues as well. No matter your title, be sure to respect and support every other position. Many companies cannot run without certain people performing their jobs properly. From the CEO to the janitorial staff, we are all necessary to keep productivity running smoothly to create meaningful work.