Finding meaning in your work may sound like an impossible feat, but it’s easier than you think—once you know how to do it. One of the most impactful ways to find meaning in your work is to follow the impact that your work has on others. So, how do you follow your impact? First, take some time to think about the products or services that you’re offering. What are they really? Basically, what benefits do they give others and what kinds of lives do they enable?
If you don’t love what you do, then it might be time to reevaluate. Start by looking at your personal and professional goals and prioritize them based on how well they align with your day-to-day responsibilities. If your current position is blocking you from reaching these goals, it might be time for a change. And remember that while money can help achieve certain things, it doesn’t always guarantee happiness. So if you want to find meaning in your work, start by thinking about why you do what you do—and whether or not that reason aligns with your long-term goals.
Whether you’re pitching your product or pitching yourself for a job, it’s important to know how people respond to your ideas. Many entrepreneurs don’t fully understand how their work is perceived, which can lead them down an uncertain path. It’s important to get feedback from people who aren’t invested in your success (or failure) and can give honest feedback about what they think of your idea. It might not be what you want to hear, but that’s why they call it feedback.
In order to know what impact you are having on your work, you need to be able to measure it over time. Start by tracking metrics related to your overall success: How many people are using your product? Is revenue growing month-over-month? What is your retention rate like? After you establish these key performance indicators (KPIs), begin tracking micro-level metrics that reflect progress towards each of your objectives. If there’s no data available, create some.
Take time to recognize your successes and give yourself a pat on the back. The sense of pride you feel can help deepen your commitment and purpose, which helps when you hit rough patches down the road. It’s also important not to set unreasonable expectations for yourself. If things don’t go as planned, remind yourself that it’s okay—it happens! Celebrate your small wins along with your larger achievements. If you always try to push through obstacles without celebrating success along the way, it can be easy to lose sight of what matters most: that impact is more than just numbers on a page; it’s about making a difference in people’s lives.