How to Create a Meaningful Career

How to Create a Meaningful Career

Are you feeling burned out by your demanding job? Are you looking for more meaningful work aligned with a cause you care about? Or, maybe you just feel your purpose isn’t putting numbers in a spreadsheet every day?

If this is you, you’re not alone. According to the Harvard Business Review, 9 out of 10 workers would take a pay cut to work in a more meaningful job.

So, how can you find a new role that’s fulfilling and gives you purpose? Below are a few steps you can take to find a meaningful career.

Determine What Meaningful Means to You

Meaningful work means different things to different people. You don’t have to work for a nonprofit to do meaningful work (but if that’s what you want to do, go for it!). 

Meaningful work might mean that you get to use your passion for coding to solve problems. It could mean using your artistic skills to create graphic designs for local businesses. Or, it could mean you teach English to children in other countries. 

Meaningful work might also mean working for a company with a mission you really believe in or that has a social responsibility program. To find meaningful work, first determine what meaningful means for you

Know What Drives You

Do you want to use your coding skills to create apps that improve the lives of people with disabilities? Do you want to instill a passion for STEM in children? Or, maybe you want to ensure fair housing for everyone in your city. Knowing what fuels you and how that aligns with your skills is critical for uncovering potential career options. 

Make an inventory of skills you have and ways you’d like to apply those professionally. Putting these thoughts on paper can help you organize and analyze where you can make the biggest difference.

Know Your Work Values

Your work values are an essential part of finding meaning in any job. After all, you’re going to get burned out quickly commuting to an office every day if you value the freedom of being a digital nomad. 

If you value having more time to be there for your family, maybe you’d like to find a company that values work-life balance. Finding a company that aligns with your values will increase job satisfaction and ensure you’re not job searching again a few months after accepting an offer. 

Find the Right Employers

Now that you know what you want to do and the values that drive you, it’s time to search for jobs. But don’t rush straight to the job boards. Instead, start by researching potential employers.

Find out which nonprofits are working to end homelessness or which companies are going green. By researching the companies that match your values first, you can have a shorter, more efficient job search. 

Look for Meaning in Your Current Job

If a job search isn’t a realistic possibility right now, look for meaning in your current job. Maybe as a customer service representative, you get to help people solve problems and make their lives easier. 

If you’re a sales representative for a medical devices company, you could remind yourself that your products keep people healthy. Look for ways to find meaning in your everyday job duties, no matter how small they may seem. 

There could also be internal opportunities for growth through different resource groups or new projects. Explore the different areas where you could make an impact and connect.

Find a Meaningful Career

A meaningful career can mean different things to different people. For some, it’s being able to use their creativity in their role, while for others, it’s working at a nonprofit. However you define meaningful work, by following these steps, you can find the right job for you.

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