Is it Really Possible to Find Meaning at Work?
Finding the Meaning
Absolutely! Or rather, it is possible to build meaning and purpose in the work you do. Over the last 18 years, I have been consciously seeking for the true meaning of my work. What I did not realize is that I have also been unconsciously building the purpose in my work and that is POWERFUL.
The PERMA Model to a Flourishing Life
Meaning is the fourth element of the PERMA model created by Dr. Martin Seligman, American psychologist, author and founder behind positive psychology movement. To summarize, this element is about a sense of meaning and purpose derived from belonging to and serving something bigger than the self.
Read this article to find out if you are flourishing at work using the PERMA Model!
3 ways to create meaning and purpose at work
Over the years, I have observed friends and colleagues who worked with and without purpose working day in and day out, and who is really thriving at work. My advice is to re-look at this in a different perspective. Yes, it may not be the work you are most passionate about, but it does not mean that you cannot find the meaning. In fact, you can create the meaning and purpose in your work through the will to be thoughtful and practice. Here’s my 3 tactical ways to create meaning and purpose at work.
1. Remember why you work
Some of us may be lucky enough to work for fun. But many of us work to pay bills. Whether it is to pay bills to support our partners, children or parents, we work as an act of service to serve others. This in itself is a meaning and serve a big purpose in our lives. If we can shift our mindset to think of our work in that way, the work we do would become more important in itself. So, who are you working for?
2. Connect your work as contributions to an eco-system
Many of us may feel that our work is unimportant. True, not everyone works to save lives or educate a child. But, all our jobs have a purpose if we look beyond to know where our work is in the value chain and who we ultimately serve. For years, I struggled to find a sense of purpose in my work as an accountant. But, when I finally appreciated how my work contribute to accuracy and reliability of my organization’s financial status, and how investors then decide to invest their money in my organization, the meaning and purpose of my work suddenly shoot up! Suddenly, my work seemed to be a lot more purposeful!
3. Make your work a craft
Since you are in the job, why not make the best out of it? Make your work a craft – ask yourself what skills are needed and how you can dedicate yourself to master those skills. Then, invest the time to achieve mastery….like a skilled craftman! The journey towards mastery itself is usually fascinating and also creates the “flow” that you may lose track of time.