I’m not talking about whether you’re doing what you’re most passionate about.
Let’s not get into that.
I’m talking about whether you feel like you’re doing meaningful work. Do you find fulfillment in what you do, regardless of what your job actually involves – customer service, admin, engineering, design…? Do you feel like your work has a useful purpose or that it’s making a difference?
Chatting to some of my high school girlfriends, it’s evident (I don’t know if they could all say their job is their passion – I should ask them) their chosen fields are uber rewarding. Medicine. Osteopathy. Audiology. (Oh yes, and law – which if I didn’t have such a love for writing I guess I would have pursued – it is, at least here, the default for smart high schoolers who don’t go into the technical/scientific degrees.)
All crazy important, worthy, noble jobs, helping their fellow man, huge responsibilities. (Handily, also all very lucrative, which is a bonus; they do have higher education requirements, and high student loan repayments to match their higher starting salaries…but they’ll still make more than me in the long run.)
Sometimes I can’t help but feel inferior, as the least educated and, I guess, the least ‘professional’ of all. Whenever I mention how insanely amazing what they do is, though, they’re always quick to praise me, my creativity, the fact that I’m less about book learning and more about real knowledge (ha). Bless.
While I may not do anything particularly noble on a daily basis – I’m hardly serving the greater good of humanity – I create something new, every day. Stories people read, content they engage with. And maybe I do make a small difference for some of these inspiring and deserving people and companies.
While I can’t really say the same of previous jobs I did before getting into my current field, they definitely had their moments.
Example: I used to hate answering the phones at work. You just never knew what to expect. But when it wasn’t some crank, and when I could actually help the caller with what they were after – that felt really good. I sincerely like helping people, and if they’re grateful for it, that’s just the icing.
At another job, my general office admin tasks were, in all honesty, rather dull. But in transcribing and typing out legal documents, I took real pride in my work, getting used to each consultant’s style, correcting any grammatical errors, doing my best to be a star support person.
I don’t know if that’s quite the same thing as finding meaning in my work per se, but it certainly lifted the job above just something I did to get by.
What does your job mean to you?