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Six Ways to Find Meaning in Your Work

Six Ways to Find Meaning in Your Work

When you first start your job, it’s natural to wonder what the impact of your work will be, how it fits into the larger picture of your company, and whether there’s any purpose behind your daily tasks beyond paying the bills. You might ask yourself questions like: Why am I doing this? What’s the point? Is there some greater meaning behind all this that I just don’t see yet? Once you find this deeper sense of purpose and meaning in your work, you can set more ambitious goals for yourself and make a bigger impact at work and in life. One thing is clear, we need to be finding meaning in work.


Define the Impact

In many cases, if you’re stuck looking for meaning in your work, it’s because you’re focused on how your actions will impact other people. Take a step back and think about what your actions mean to you. Consider your role within an organization and connect it with personal fulfillment. If you establish a personal emotional connection to your work, then you’ll be better able to seek out deeper purpose.


Create a Purpose Statement

One of the best ways to find meaning in your work is by putting it into words and sharing that statement with your team. This exercise should be fun and collaborative; use words that describe what you are trying to achieve. Then, hang a copy of your purpose statement where everyone can see it as a constant reminder of why they’re doing what they do.


Build Meaningful Relationships

It’s hard to feel connected and engaged when you’re surrounded by coworkers who see you as just another worker bee, whose names they can barely remember, let alone conversations they actually want to have. Establishing these kinds of personal relationships in your office will not only make you happier at work, but also improve your ability to collaborate and innovate.


Get Accomplishments off Your Shoulders

When you have a long list of things you need to get done, it can feel like your days are filled with work. You can find yourself constantly checking off items from your list and wondering what else is left. To give yourself space and refocus, write down all of your tasks on a big piece of paper, then rip it up or shred it! Don’t worry about remembering everything; focus on getting those things out of your head and into one place.


Compete with Yourself

Figure out how you can make your everyday tasks more challenging, or do things that are just outside of your comfort zone. By constantly pushing yourself, you’ll build up your skills and experience faster than if you were to stick with what’s comfortable. For example, if you’re a writer by trade but aren’t yet adept at marketing yourself online—or even if you are—consider taking on an additional project that requires these skills. The goal here being to push to towards something more well rounded and adaptible than your previous self.


Give Back and Reap Rewards

It’s a common misconception that doing good deeds is an altruistic endeavor. Research from Harvard, University of British Columbia and University of California found that volunteering has significant psychological benefits for those who do it. Volunteers experience lower rates of depression and higher levels of self-esteem. Give back and you’ll reap personal rewards, too. You’ll likely be happier, healthier and more successful professionally—and isn’t that something worth writing about?


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