We all want to be happy in our jobs, but do we find purpose? Purpose is meaningfulness — it is what makes us feel like what we are doing is making an impact in our environment. There are those who believe meaningfulness in your work should come second to the income the job provides. Unfortunately, the job may pay well, but that doesn’t mean you will enjoy it. Instead of simply looking for ways to ascend the career ladder, consider looking for meaningfulness in what you are doing.
Why is meaningfulness so important? One study found that a lack of meaningfulness at work is the driving reason behind employees disliking their jobs. For me, though, meaningfulness in the work place is about more than liking my job. So, here are a few other reasons finding fulfillment is important.
If you find meaning in your work, you are likely to be more productive because you feel you are contributing to your team. I have been at my new job a week already, and I am psyched to produce work. The fact that I have some creative freedom encourages me to try new things and deliver great content. I help the team create meaning for what we produce, and that excites me.
We all like to feel valued, and, typically, if we find meaningfulness in our work, we will also feel a sense of value. I have only been at my new job a week, and every person on the team has, at some point, told me how excited they are to have someone in this position. It makes me feel not only like I am valued as a person but also that my skills are valuable. This is something I have struggled with a lot. I am a writer, and on this journey I have often felt like what I have to offer is not valuable, be it my skill set, my creative mindset, or even myself as an individual. It is refreshing to be in an environment where both myself and my skills are valued.
Studies show that if you find meaningfulness in your work, you are less likely to job-hop. While millennials are known to transition between jobs, and there are benefits to having multiple different jobs, staying in one job for an extended period of time can provide knowledge and even career growth. You can learn how a business functions, which gives you valuable information for the future as you progress through your career. Staying in a job longer also provides upward mobility (if it is something the company offers) because most companies prefer to look on the inside for candidates before looking outward. Why? Because those candidates know the company.
After having a few jobs where I didn’t feel valued or like I was making a difference, it sometimes feels weird to walk into work. For the first time in a while, when someone asks me how I like it, I respond with an honest: “I am really enjoying it!” I know it hasn’t been long, but I have found purpose in my writing, and that is something I will always be able to carry with me.
Have you found meaningfulness in your career? How has it changed your perspective or helped you? I’d love to hear from you!