Did you ever stop from your busy life for a moment, looked around and wondered what’s it all good for? The topic regularly comes up when I talk to people.
Why am I doing this? What’s the use?
Having a sense of meaning is fundamental to our happiness and well-being.
At work, when we know what we’re working for and what our impact is, we are more persistent. But not only that, people who find more meaning in their work are more motivated. They are more satisfied with their job, feel empowered, are more engaged and perform better. And yes, they actually are more fulfilled personally. This is what research showed.
So here are some small actions you can take to boost your sense of meaning at work:
1. Give more than you take
Find opportunities to give to others at work. Who might need your help? This could be information they are missing, an introduction to someone that can support their project or simply someone who listens and brainstorms with them.
2. Find out what drives you
There are some things all of us are passionate about at work and willing to take some risks. Willing to go outside our comfort zone. What is that for you? Write down some ideas about what you’d like to see changing and why it’s important to you. Then start taking one small step to start.
3. Search for meaning in unlikely places
Do you have some small tasks that feel very routine and mundane for you? Not sure hwy you are even doing this? Write it down and keep asking “Why am I doing this? What is it good for? What will it accomplish?” and write down the answers. Keep going until the value of this small task becomes clearer to you.
4. Connect to your customers
Find those people who use the output of your work to do theirs. Have a chat with them to learn about all the ways how your work is benefiting them. You can also do this exercise for your whole team. Simply invite someone to a team meeting to share how your team’s work helps them.
5. Write it up
Keep a folder with “thank you” emails in your inbox, so you can go back to them regularly. Write down your own accomplishments that show you the meaningful impact of your work. And while you’re doing this – why not email a colleague explaining how their work helped you?