7 Ways to Redefine Meaning and Purpose at Work
March 24, 2016 7:00 AM EST | 5 min read
Are you frustrated at work?
How many times have you thought of switching profession while sitting on your office chair?
Job satisfaction is important to ensure employee productivity.
Without a motivated team, the chances of profit and success are very slim in a growing company.
And even more so today when the corporate world is undergoing a major shift in work culture.
The fall of established work principles in many big companies like the 9-5 work hours, cubicle bound workstations, and the option to work at home only means one thing – work industry is slowly changing to cater the incoming young and purpose-driven workforce.
According to the U.S Bureau of Statistics projects, Millennials will make up 40 percent of the workforce by 2020, and 75 percent by 2025.
They will become the new face of work culture and with them will come change.
Unlike the last generation of workers, Millennials are more focused on purpose than paychecks.
Not just what they make out of their jobs matter, what they do is also important.
People who find their job purposeful are more engaged, creative and eventually happier.
When you see that what you do fits within the company’s goal, and what you do affects people in a positive way, in turn your productivity rises.
However, not all jobs are made the same.
People working on non-profit or service oriented organizations may find it easier to find meaning in their work.
But if you work at a for-profit organization whose goal is to sell the name of a product or service, finding purpose might come a little harder.
These businesses exist to make money; they are not there to help you find meaning in your career.
How can you redefine purpose and create more meaning at your current job?
Start by Redefining Your Mission
Not sure what it is?
Look towards your company’s mission statement.
Your mission should resonate with what you do and what you believe in.
It should also reflect your customer’s need, and help the company grow.
If your company doesn’t have one, then you can write your own mission statement for you or your team.
Rethink Your Role
Purpose becomes clear when we realize that our work impacts others in a good way.
List out all the things that make your work helpful to other people.
Rediscover your passion by reflecting on the good work you’ve done.
Knowing that what you do in your job matters will help motivate you in the long run.
Sometimes we’re all so preoccupied with how busy our jobs can be that we forget to reflect on the positive enduring impact our work has done to others.
Knowing this will help us define our roles better.
Identify Issues Affecting Work Meaning
What makes work difficult?
Is it a poor laid strategy?
Effectiveness at work is a crucial component so one can feel fulfilled and full of purpose.
When we fail to meet our goals, we start thinking how work must not be a good fit for us.
Or it could be that there’s something wrong in the way we do work, that’s making it extremely difficult.
These simple issues can be addressed with proper communication, effective leadership and taking measurable steps to address work problems.
Put Value to Work
No matter what you do, your job exists for a reason.
However, the quality of your work will determine its value for yourself.
A good way to create meaning and purpose to your work is to give your best in it.
Work sloppily and it will show.
Work becomes meaningful when you put your time and direct it to a positive contribution to help better other’s lives.
Learning at Work
Life is a long term learning process.
Learning is the best thing we can do to better ourselves, without learning there’s no growth and development.
This is the reason why career paths that foster learning are the most pursued kind of work.
If you’re starting your career, picking a job that lets you enhance your skill in different areas will likely be more helpful for whatever career you end up pursuing.
However, learning is not limited to science facts and history.
No matter how mundane your work can be, there’s always something (new skill, new values) which you can learn.
So breakthrough the humdrum of everyday’s workload by cultivating interest with the work you do.
You can set goals everyday to enhance a skill or learn a new idea.
Work meaning can slowly diminish if you are not visualizing your success.
Aside from creating meaning, we must also strive for excellence.
Fulfillment in work comes from continuous accomplishment, confidence in one’s skills and realistic response to problems and failures.
Work eats up a huge part of our lives, let’s make it worthwhile.
Let work positively affect your being and satisfy your soul.
Don’t simply sell yourself, or blindly climb the corporate ladder.
Don’t let work compromise things you care about.
Find work that not only pays your bills but also inspires you to be a better version of yourself.