Six Ways to Find More Meaning in Your Work

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Six Ways to Find More Meaning in Your Work

Too many people give up on finding meaning and fulfillment in their careers.

For most, the purpose must be built, not found. Working with a sense of purpose takes thoughtfulness and practice.

If you want to find more meaning in your work, keep reading.

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1. Build knowledge about what you do.

It takes work to build knowledge. Regularly read industry news, commentary, and studies. Go beyond the prominent outlets. Do your research and uncover independent and lesser-known organizations that support your enterprise.

A few ways to accomplish this:

  • Follow journalists and outlets on Twitter.
  • Set-up Google alerts.
  • Network with like-minded people on Linkedin.

2. Find meaning in the little moments.

Don’t ignore the everyday opportunities to be helpful, kind, and supportive of colleagues and staff. Consider how you might impact co-workers every day. Usually, the little things, adequately observed, will pay big dividends.

A few ways to accomplish this:

  • Compliment colleagues on a regular basis.
  • Help an overwhelmed teammate or employee.
  • Make time for a colleague who you don’t interact with often.

3. Build strong relationships with your colleagues.

Treat everyone with respect and support fellow workers. Consideration of others is a powerful way to improve your work experience. The relationships you build throughout your life will impact your career significantly.

A few ways to accomplish this:

  • Mentor.
  • Become a mentee.
  • Be present, listen intently, and respond with grace.

4. Rediscover why you’re working.

A recent survey found that the average worker would give up a whopping $21,000 yearly in exchange for a job that allows them to derive meaning from their work

Does your current role fulfill your needs? Self-examination is not easy. Dedicate time to evaluate where you are and where you want to be. An old Greek proverb goes: “How do you get a man to appreciate his donkey?” Answer: “By taking it away!”

A few ways to accomplish this:

  • Hire a career coach who can help you identify what job will be most fulfilling.
  • Journal daily and review your entries regularly.
  • Practice gratitude.

5. Make a plan and take small steps.

‘A journey of a thousand miles (li) starts beneath one’s feet’ Chinese proverb
If you can’t reconcile your current position with your values, hopes, and dreams, explore alternatives.

A few ways to accomplish this:
A positive attitude is something you can work on and improve with practice and self-reflection.

  • List the things you like and don’t want to do.
  • Have an open mind as you review opportunities.
  • Work with a career professional.

6. Adopt the right attitude.

We presented the importance of good work and life habits in a previous article. Attitudes are habits of thought. They can be harmful or helpful. A positive attitude at work is immensely powerful, and it’s a precursor to being happy and successful

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People thrive when their work has clear purpose and meaning. People find meaning when they see a connection between what they value and what they spend time doing.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

Most people want to make a positive impact on their world, their company, and their family.

Here are some tips for leaders who want to instill a sense of purpose in the workplace:

  • Model healthy relationships.
  • Make time, space, and resources available to help employees get to know their colleagues.
  • Support and uplift employees with positive, respectful, and productive interactions.
  • Teach and coach your people about relating well with co-works and management.
  • Model better-listening skills, empathy, and self-control.


It is difficult to sustain motivation without meaning and purpose. Purpose comes from within. It starts with understanding your most basic needs and values. One can find meaning in the little exchanges between collaborators and the overall vision of the enterprise.

Our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you come up with more ways to boost your team’s morale! We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and the #1 career coaches in Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.