4 Possible Keys in finding a meaningful work | Jeremy Spell Blog
The prospect of finding fulfilling work is believed to be relegated to the lucky few born with extraordinary talent, wealth or an unusual drive to succeed. And the numbers back this up – job satisfaction is at all time lows. Yet, there is no reason why these two aspects of life should be mutually exclusive for anyone. Meaningful work is not just possible, it is your birthright.
Most of us have no trouble getting excited about the prospect of finding meaningful work—after all, is that not a dream we all share—to be able to support ourselves doing something we love and are deeply passionate about? The problem lies in the fact that many of us have come to believe that it is simply not possible or wishful thinking at best. Yet, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Like anything in life, with the right knowledge and tools, anyone can be empowered to accomplish whatever it is they set their mind to.
In this article, you will be presented with timeless wisdom backed by the latest scientific research on how to find meaningful career that aligns with your passions. Whether your goal is to work as part of an organization that shares your values, venture out on your own as an entrepreneur, or simply find more fulfillment in your current line of work, you will find sage advice to help you succeed in doing so.
HOW TO FIND MEANINGFUL WORK
1. Don’t Get too Specific – Just Head in the Right General Direction
One of the major mistakes that people make when searching for meaningful work is trying to pinpoint the exact thing they should be doing. It is rare that someone knows precisely what they want to do with their lives. This knowledge only usually comes after some time is spent heading in the right general direction.
To use an analogy, if you are in New York and you need to get to Los Angeles, at first you simply go West. Having a specific address is not necessary until you get much closer to your destination.
Finding meaningful work operates in much the same way. At first, just figure out in a very general sense:
What qualities you value and would like your job/career to have
What you would like to be doing if money were not an issue
With this information, you can begin to explore what fields would be a potentially good fit for you.
Your goal should be to find something that aligns with the vision you create for yourself as closely as possible. As you dive deeper into an area that you are interested in, you will begin to notice what you are most strongly drawn towards. Too often people get so hung up on trying to figure out every little detail at the start of the journey that they end up losing sight of the destination.
2. Your Direction Will Change Many Times
Where you start and where you end up will be related, but still distinctly different. Most people won’t discover their life’s work right off the bat. As you begin to follow what you are interested in, you will find increasing clarity as you explore your passions and different fields of work. It is important to embrace the uncertainty that comes with this process and not feel that you need to get everything right on the first try. So long as you focus inwardly and trust your intuition, you will be able to “connect the dots” along the way from point A to point B on your journey towards deeply fulfilling, meaningful work. The only constant in life is change and you would be wise to expect it and embrace it.
It is highly likely that what you thought was right for you at the start of your journey will change many times. However, each correction of course will bring you ever closer to the work that is most meaningful and fulfilling for you.
3. Mix Your Passions With Your Values and Talents
If you are not sure what your passions are, try asking yourself the following question:
If money was not an issue, but you still had to work for a living, what would you do?
The answer to this question will provide you with extremely valuable insight into what type of work would be deeply meaningful and fulfilling for you.
This is not to say that you must find a career that directly maps onto one of your specific passions, however, to maximize your happiness and fulfillment, whatever job or field you choose should tap into or relate to them in some way.
Roman Krzanic, author of How to Find Fulfilling Work, also advises that you find where your values and talents meet. This realization will afford you the chance to do something that you not only care about, but are naturally prone to being successful at.
Meaningful Work Exercise: PVT Triangle
A simple exercise to help you find meaningful work is to draw a triangle with your values at one point, your talents at another and your passions at the third. Then try to think of careers or professions that integrate all three and list them in the center.
4. Pursue a Job or Career Path that Fosters Learning
If you are having difficulty figuring out what it is you are passionate about, then at the very least, pursuing work that encourages learning and growth is your next best bet.
UC Berkeley psychologists, Morten Hansen and Dacher Keltner, explain that seeking work that encourages learning, achievement and growth results in expansion of one’s self-worth, opportunities and potential careers. Ultimately it will help you to discover what is right for you. If you are truly unsure what to do, work on growing yourself as an individual.
“If you are truly unsure what to do, work on growing yourself as an individual.”