The idea that the work should be fulfilling rather than its obvious nature of necessity for survival is quite a new concept. The first requirement of any job is to pay -- and then the secondary requirements, as important as money but less recognized – like it should have a meaning, should help other people, should make a change in the society. But how many people can actually raise and say that they have these attributes?
If we dwell ourselves into the dictionaries of past – say pre-1900, the word ‘fulfillment’ doesn’t even appear. In this modern world, we don’t just expect money from our labor but, we also— to our lesser or greater extent expect meaning and satisfaction. It’s evidently too much to ask and gives us a clear reason why there are so many people having a career crisis.
What does it mean to have a fulfilling or meaningful job?
Seemingly, to feel a job is fulfilling and meaningful, a job should have following attributes in it;
1. It should tap the most talented part of us.
2. It should help other people.
3. It impacts the society and makes a difference.
4. It should make a great contribution towards fulfilling the organizational goal
Often on the Sunday night after the sun is set – we think about where our job is taking us – if it’s giving us any value and meaning at all. And it’s surprising to acknowledge that you’re not alone – almost all of us have that anxiety.
It’s perfectly normal to be confused about your career choice
Before the industrial revolution – there were about 200 trades out there, which over time have stretched to half of a million. The result, we get so anxious to make a right choice – we don’t make any choice at all.
Knowing yourself helps
For knowing what to do with your life is a complicated calling and almost all of us are never confident even if we think we know what it is. It’s not to say that we don’t have a taste rather it’s the lack of clarity.
Thinking a lot clears the dust
If you think making a decision to buy a new house takes months of research – then picking a right career is indeed a result of a long-term thinking. We shouldn’t feel guilty about taking time – but seeing the long term result – to spend a life doing something worth and provide it time with generosity.
Try something new
I wouldn’t recommend you to sit on a bed and contemplate your inner-self to find the right choice. Rather the recommended process is to go out and collide with the society and find out a series of things that doesn’t match with you. Only through that - a continuous friction, you’ll be able to find a right choice.
Our immediate world is surrounded by the self-help books that help us understand the importance of confidence. There are too many pieces of advice which after a sincere moment looks so mundane. But, the truth is – confident does make a difference in the real capitalist society and there are always opportunities to grab if you’re confident enough to ask for them.
Why is it so hard to find a fulfilling and meaningful job?
We all feel that our work is a big scam that does give us money but at the same time, takes all our precious time. While there are many factors we can blame that doesn’t let us reach our ultimate goals – there are three factors that stand out.
1. No one tells us our authentic working identity
Through our universities and society – we’re prepared for any job rather than a particular type, the one that suits your talent and interests. We’re often our best at work when we deeply believe in the work that we do.
2. Working for something that actually makes a difference
In today’s modern world – it’s very easy to pack a product in a shiny wrap that at the end of the day adds no value to a customer's life. You might already be working for such a brand for money – but at the end – it’s really hard to derive any meaning out of these jobs.
3. Tangible results
You might be working on something huge and it might feel like – if things go the way they’re going – it might change the world entirely by 2025. Looking at the timeline – it might get stressful, full of hopelessness accompanied with doubts and this happens essentially because there are no real immediate results, nothing tangible and that can sadly take out the core meaning out of your whole picture.
We live in a society where working in a bigger organization is appreciated, but often, it loses meaning because of the above reasons. We often move out to work in smaller organizations with much real by-product and that often is enough to give us meaning.
What can you do to make job fulfilling and meaningful?
Fulfillment is felt when you establish the love for what you do, and you establish that love when you keep yourself distraction, stress and most importantly monotony free. Simply put, to actually feel that connection and bring love for your work, you ought to try something new every day. Try to learn something new, see beyond the projects you’ve been doing since long, and try to find out something new; maybe new ideas that can make an organization grow. Try something that taps your innermost talent, and if you cannot really add that in your job, try to do that in your spare time; may be at office itself or at home, but do something what you love; because this actually brings contentment and increase your productive thinking capacity which can help you add more value to your organization with your work.