In today's world, most of us want to do meaningful work; we want to feel like our jobs are making a difference to other people’s lives and that we are contributing to the greater good.
We have to realise that perfect jobs that provide meaning and fulfilment on a 24/7 basis may well be illusory. But it’s important to know that we don’t need to be doctors, saving lives every day for our work to have meaning. Reflect on some of the projects you've done and how they may have ''saved someone'' in the sense of providing an enormous help to the company or another individual. Consider the small gestures that mean a great deal to others. Working hard sometimes leaves us too fatigued to see the bigger picture and we forget why we chose the career path we did.
There are many ways through which you can find a sense of purpose and meaning in your work. Here are just a few of them:
1. Say goodbye to negativity
As a first step, you must address the underlying cause of your feelings of meaninglessness. Stress is often at the root of most work troubles, whether it's your boss not appreciating your work or your colleague disagreeing with you.
It is important to maintain a positive attitude when dealing with stress and small setbacks. Rather than thinking to yourself ''I didn't do a good job'' or ''my ideas aren't great'' try to think ''people have different opinions, this one was just different'' and ''if something didn't work, I can learn from my mistake and become better''. And remember, if the work you do wasn't important or needed, you would have been made redundant.
2. Don’t take your job for granted
Work happiness starts with understanding your motivation and why you work. Doing things has to have a purpose or you won't get up in the morning. Of course, money is a big aspect, but you should have other reasons to get up and go to work every day.
Understand why you do what you do. Does your career mean anything to you? Speak to your boss if your current job has lost its relevance and see what you can do to make it more meaningful. By admitting that you want more things in life from your job and work on learning new skills, you can come up with a long-term goal for your career and take action towards it! No matter how unimportant your job feels right now, don't forget that you're working towards something that will be meaningful to you in the future.
3. Stay focussed
Time wasted on unimportant stuff leads to dissatisfaction. Many people work full time and still don't accomplish anything. Concentrate on the big stuff and spend less time in areas that don’t have a big impact. Rather than focusing on bits and pieces, set goals and deadlines for yourself that focus on the important things. Make a to-do list and cross things off as you go. You'll be surprised at how satisfying it is to check things off.
4. Help yourself by helping others
Ideally, you'd like to align your purpose with the mission of the company you work for, and you'd like to feel like the work you're doing is helping others. When that's gone - even just temporarily - look for little ways to feel helpful. Consider providing coaching or mentoring to a more junior employee or pick up a team member's slack if they're struggling. If you have time, support a colleague in a different department. There's no better and more meaningful feeling than helping others!
5. Don’t quit!
It’s important not to make rash decisions today based on your mood. When we're stressed, it's hard to make good decisions. If you're thinking about quitting, mull it over. Try to keep a positive outlook when making important decisions.
After these crises pass, and if you still want a career change, then you’ll be able to make a decision with a clear mindset. If you need a career change that will tailor your success in the future, and be meaningful to you, contact our team and one of our specialist recruitment consultants will help you find your perfect job.