5 Practical Tips on How to Find Meaning and Purpose in your Work

5 Practical tips 5 Practical Tips on How to Find Meaning and Purpose in your Work

Last month, we explored the power of starting with purpose when changing career. We challenged you to think, ‘why’ do you do what you do and is there something with a bigger, more purposeful ‘why’ calling you? This month we offer 5 practical tips to help you find meaning in your existing work.

Meaning and purpose at work should never be just defined by a job title or your next promotion.  It is about experiencing something meaningful and of value that your work provides.  When you discover purpose and meaning in your work it leads to a high level of satisfaction, flow and engagement.

Why Finding Meaning at Work is More Important Than Feeling Happy’’ by Fast Company quotes from the infamous ‘Why You Hate Work’ New York Times story:

“The survey, which reached more than 12,000 employees across a broad range of companies and industries, found that 50% lack a level of meaning and significance at work.

Moreover, employees who derive meaning from their work are more than three times as likely to stay with their organizations–the highest single impact of any other survey variable they tested. By this account, meaning trumps items related to learning and growth, connection to a company’s mission, and even work-life balance. And the employees who have meaning don’t just stick around longer. They also report 1.7 times higher job satisfaction, and are 1.4 times more engaged at work.”

So how to find more meaning in your own job? Here are a handful of key principles and actions from our experience:

  1. Clarify your values –work will be more meaningful if it is aligned with your values. Make a list of things that are most important in your work and life for example, growth, work/life balance, challenge, relationships, creativity etc. Is your your job supporting your values?  The free VIA Character Strengths survey is good resource to help your thinking.
  2. Understand why you work: Ask yourself, how…….

am I challenged?

am I contributing to the organisation/team?

am I helping others?

am I creative?

does the work I do make a difference to other people in a positive way?

do I define success?

  1. Pay attention to those activities and interests that make you feel energised and work hard to integrate them into your work. Minimise the ones that drain you.
  2. Discover and utilise your strengths – tools like the Strengths Profile can help you discover unrealised strengths as one of those you realise.
  3. Reach towards your potential – craft your tasks to cultivate greater variety, identity and significance

How else do you derive meaning from your work? We’d love to hear from you. For those interested in reading more on this theme, the Huffington Post has a ‘Meaningful Work’ section.

Am I being Creative 5 Practical Tips on How to Find Meaning and Purpose in your Work


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