How to Find Meaning and Purpose in your Work

Millennials and even Gen-Z are proving to be more demanding when it comes down to their work environments. They require purpose and meaning, not only a good salary. And they do make a good point!

Gone are the days when numerous generations would simply find a job, remain in that job for ages, and never, ever think about trying new work environments and job opportunities. These generations sought safety. They thought that a good salary can pretty much solve everything, and provide you with long-term stability. However, seems like they had forgotten that there is another aspect of your day-to-day work that is also essentially important – you need to have meaning.

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Ariya J/Shutterstock

No wonder we are still lost, as younger working generations. We are completely restructuring the way our work environments need to be, and we no longer want the 9-to-5 schedule to make us feel dull. Yet, we are often tempted to remain in the familiar, to continue with the burnout, instead of simply taking a risk and trying something new. But you don’t have to give up on just about everything, to find meaning in what you do. With this economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has been taking a toll on us, it is no surprise that we are striving to nourish some stability.

 

But how to find meaning in what we do?

Try to think about why you do what you do. Is there a good and decent cause behind your work? The cause can be diverse. You may be working for a non-profit, making the lives of vulnerable people a bit easier, as you coordinate projects, think of awareness-raising campaigns or conduct field research. Maybe you’re doing something very technical and administrative, but that still fits the great puzzle of a working environment, and you deliver solid economic, social or political results in the end – because you add up value to your team.

For us to find meaning in what we do, we need to learn how to recognize our self-worth. We must understand what are our greatest assets, skills, and talents, which people come to us, and for which we are generally proud. There is no shame in getting to know yourself, and you don’t have to strive for constant humbleness. Show your best professional sides every once in a while.

Another thing that can help us find meaning in what we do, is continuous learning. Just because we have found a job, that doesn’t mean that we have to settle and simply not be updated with the changes in the working environment, and the new developments related to our professions. Keep up with some classes, courses, podcasts, or online forums. Network & find persons who are interested in your field, and get involved in discussions, which can enrich you with better and fresher perspectives, or even ideas on what to focus on in your future.

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OoddySmile Studio/Shutterstock

Probably, the most important thing about finding purpose in your work is still being able to divide working hours from resting hours. No matter how much we may love our professions, we need to take breaks every once in a while, to recharge. Otherwise, we risk burning out and burnout comes with a lot of consequences. Quite often, people even confuse “not loving their job anymore” with a simple, temporary burnout. So make sure to be able to differentiate these two, and continue learning, researching, and reading.

And hey, it is never too late to start something new. If none of the options above work for you, try to switch your career and experiment a little bit (if you can afford it, time and finances-wise). Nothing contributes more to finding professional meaning, rather than moving around and experiencing diverse roles and professions. From us at Youth Time Magazine – best of luck!

 

Photo: View Apart/Shutterstock

 


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