Find meaning at work

Are you happy with the quality of your working life or would you like it to be more fulfilling and meaningful? If you walk into any bookshop you will no doubt find a slew of self-help books all attempting to solve this problem.

In these book shops will find some good information, some not so good and some downright awful. If you are open to ideas then I have a few that I can share based on research and my own experience.

Firstly, let’s acknowledge that working life can be tough for many people. We are expected to behave in a way that is socially accepted by a group of people we may or may not like. Have you ever noticed how people act when they are introduced to a new group? They inadvertently check out one another to find out who is dominant, what people are wearing, who could be a friend and who is likely to be the enemy. It’s exhausting, and that’s without adding deadlines, environmental issues, and slow technology.

So what’s the impact? Depression, anxiety, alcohol, drugs and various other distractions designed to take our minds off our daily suffering.

Perhaps the solution lies in the way we view work. Do you see work as a series of deadlines and tasks? And if so, do you get fulfilment through deadlines and tasks? Or do you see work as an extension of connections formed with others and yourself? A call out to @theschooloflife, and their YouTube channel which talks about this in detail.

Forming quality connections requires motivation and a little skill. Being able to park your ego and display vulnerability to encourage others to do the same can form deep connections. Work days with these connections can be joyful, even if the tasks and deadlines are distressing.

Using work as a means to connect with your self is equally rewarding. Coaching through introspection and being your own psychologist helps to achieve that universal desire of all humans, growth. Now, there are many reasons why people avoid this and we can’t possibly go into all the psychology. Put simply, even when presented with a powerful set of reasons to change for an improved life, some people opt for the comfort and familiarity of pain and behavioural routine.

If you are willing to explore better connections with others and yourself to find more meaning and fulfilment at work, then perhaps the following suggestions may be a start. Firstly, try and understand what quality connections mean to you. Pay attention to how people respond to you and how you feel in those moments. Challenge the motivation behind those connections and try and see people for who they really are rather than the veneer they hold up. Secondly, know that they are every bit as flawed as you are, and imagine a conversation where those flaws where accepted and forgiven.

Thirdly, find tools that can help you on your journey, @theschoolof life, @Pacifica, @headspace and commit yourself to regular psychological sessions as someone might do when they frequent a gym. Lastly, forgive yourself for your errors and find the humour in situations. Know that nearly everything is recoverable. Have lots of conversations with friends remembering that opening up and being vulnerable is a great way for others to do the same.