Reaping the Benefits of Meaningful Work
“The waste of our donations brings suffering into our lives. It turns out not only mercy or “unhappiness” if we do not use the gifts given to us; we pay for them with our emotional and physical well-being. If we are our talents. Don’t use it for meaningful work, we fight. We feel disconnected and overwhelmed by feelings of emptiness, frustration, resentment, shame, disappointment, fear, and even sadness. Brene Brown
Whether you work for someone or are independent, purpose and meaning are important to your happiness and well-being. Studies have shown that most people actually consider meaningful work to be more important than their salary or position.
What is meaningful work?
A meaningful job is more than just a job to get a salary. What makes sense to our work is to do something that serves something or others outside of us.
What makes sense is unique to each person. Some people may find meaning in their work simply by changing their point of view. For work to be meaningful, you need to understand the “why” of your work. Try to think not only about what you are doing, to whom and what helps or enriches what you do. Why is your work important?
For many, the main thing is to align their hobbies, talents and interests with the tasks they perform at work. What do you like to do? What’s the good thing that turns you on? Where your passions and talents intersect, you will find meaning.
Meaningful work will always be in line with your values, so it’s important to understand what you think is most important to you. See how your career may or may not reflect the values you hold dear. If you work for a company, do their values match yours? The separation between your values and your values in the workplace destroys any sense of purpose and meaning.
“A meaningful career is a career in which we feel a genuine connection between the work we do and the larger life goal that goes beyond our “me.” Jori McKay
The benefits of meaningful work
If your work makes sense:
You get more energy because what you do is important to you and you know that it benefits others. You have a purpose.
You are somehow contributing to the big picture, increasing your satisfaction.
Your ability to work at the highest level is maintained.
You spend your time at work that reflects your values.
You are more involved in your work, which increases your job satisfaction.
You enjoy going to work more and more every day.
When it goes beyond the meaning
Sometimes work can be meaningful, but other factors interfere with the expected satisfaction. I experienced this in my career as a Montessori teacher in elementary school, when the school changed direction. Teachers were asked to prepare more documents, which could have been made easier. Teachers’ contributions in many subjects were not properly assessed. The entire work environment has become more limited, leaving little room for innovation.
When the work environment goes against your personal style, it affects job satisfaction, even if you do a lot of work.
Be aware of your own work style and see where you can agree on certain changes. There may also be ways to find leeway to create more freedom to work in your own style. If not, maybe it’s time to think about a different environment.
What makes sense to you? I suggest you leave a comment below to share your thoughts on what you think is meaningful in your work or what you consider a meaningful career.
Estra Roell is a certified coach on the law of attraction, a certified end-of-life trainer and an advanced PSYCH-K facilitator®. She is the author of the e-book “4 Keys to Achieving Your Life Goal.” Estra helps women who are tired every day to go to “soul-sucking” work, just to pay the bills, find their divine purpose and do the meaningful work they love.