Finding meaning in your career doesn’t require drastic changes or applying for a new job…
By Gaj Ravichandra, Kompass Consultancy
All of us, at one point or another, have felt the work we are doing lacks purpose. Many people take huge leaps each year to abandon jobs and start new ventures that fill them with meaning and purpose, but for many of us, that is not an option. So, instead we stay in the habit of being unfulfilled, changing nothing and dreaming of a life we will never possess.
Do not despair if this is you, because it is not your only option.
There are many ways that you can find more meaning and fulfillment in the way you work, where you work, what you do, and who it affects. Of course, finding purpose in what you do can be extremely difficult to figure out.
I am sharing three ways you can begin finding meaning in your current job. You will not find any drastic changes here, just functional ways to incorporate more meaning into your everyday life.
Start Internally: Find Your Path
The first step to finding meaning in your job is to look at the purpose of what you do. It is easy to write off your job as meaningless and purposeless because if you don’t see the everyday effect that your actions have. Despite this, whether you see it or not, every job has some type of meaning. Every job that exists serves a purpose and that is why society created it. The trick to finding the meaning can be answered in three simple questions:
- Who could my work benefit?
- What are the values attached to this job?
- What do I need to feel fulfilled?
When you know the answers to these questions, you can begin to see yourself in the bigger picture and take meaning from that. Perhaps your role supports the larger goal of the organisation, unknowingly provides safety to others, or makes someone’s life easier.
Once you know how your job benefits those around you and reflects value, you can compare those values to your personal ones and begin constructing your job and work life to reflect what you want. You do not have to know the path right away; you just have to be aware of what the goal is, so you can find that path.
Start Small: Help Those Around You
A great way to find meaning in your job is to begin with being a leader of change within your workplace. Talk to people and find out what options your workplace has for volunteering or making impactful connections with other employees. If there are no options, evaluate a need in your workplace or community, and take the initiative to change it.
There are little steps you can take to make your workplace feel more impactful. Involving your office in a food drive, or a campaign for a local charity can be easy and rewarding. Organising birthday cards, collecting money for a wedding gift or creating office support systems can positively impact those you work with. Establishing a mentor/mentee relationship program with new hires can help the company, and yourself feel like you are giving back. These ideas are small and easy to execute, but they can make a major impact on the meaning you attribute to your position.
Just remember, if you feel unfulfilled, chances are your co-workers do too! Take the initiative to be a leader of change and make your job and workplace better.
These ideas are small and easy to execute, but they can make a major impact on the meaning you attribute to your position.
Go Big: Offer your Services for Good
Everyone is unique, and no matter what job you perform, you have developed skills that could be of service to many people. Offering your services to NGO’s or people in need is a great place to start. Where possible, begin using your talents and offering your services for free to truly feel the impact you have each day.
Recently, the company I co-founded, Kompass Consultancy, partnered with the Government of Jamaica to offer a scholarship for 1,000 Jamaicans who are unemployed and searching for jobs. The aim of the initiative is to kickstart employment by providing these individuals with skills and resources to help them upskill and find new employment opportunities. Our team is taking the services we already have and applying them in scenarios that will help people and make an even bigger impact.
This work takes time and energy, but if you are set on making a difference and adding meaning to the work you do, this is an excellent way to find that fulfilment by benefitting others with your skills. Always ensure what you do is aligned with your values, and you can’t go wrong.