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11/10/2013

How you can make your career more meaningful?

How many people truly experience their work as meaningful? Large numbers of people do not. Across all manner of occupations, from petrol station attendants to bankers, surveys reveal large numbers of people failing to find meaning in what they do.

So what do you do if you’re not in a setting where meaning is obvious — because your organization, for example, exists to provide life-saving technology or to raise people out of poverty? What if you work in place where management is unaware or unconcerned that it could do more to infuse the daily grind with a
higher sense of purpose?

You learn to make your work more meaningful yourself. While it helps enormously to have conditions in place that facilitate work meaning (like autonomy in deciding how you do your work), it’s important to realize that meaning is ultimately something you create on your own. Indeed, even in jobs that may look dismal from the outside, there are always steps you can take to build the kind of meaning that will make you feel better and work better.

Since you have the ability to determine how you think about and respond to the conditions you experience, you do have control over the meaning you derive from work. So yes, as you interact with hiring managers and supervisors, keep making it clear that you want meaningful work. But at the same time, do what you can to make the work meaningful.

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