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Looking For Meaning In Your Work? Here Are 15 Ways To Do It

By News Creatives Authors , in Small Business , at September 14, 2021

The pandemic has caused many people to rethink their lives and desires for the future. From unfulfilling careers and family demands to no time to pursue passions and outside interests, many have reflected on what their current life looks like, what they want it to look like and what needs to change to make that dream a reality. However, those changes don’t need to be huge—feeling more fulfilled at work can begin with taking a few simple actions and mindset shifts.

Below, 15 members of Forbes Business Council explain what leaders can do to find meaning in their work. Follow their recommendations to help you rekindle your passion for work and hone in on your professional purpose.

1. Value Yourself As A Person

People find meaning from different things—and it doesn’t always have to be work. A key learning from the pandemic is the importance of valuing yourself as a person first versus attaching your self-worth to your job. Based on this, I recommend thinking about the different factors that create meaning in your life and dedicating time to all of them versus trying to make work alone fuel your spirit. – Muraly Srinarayanathas, Computek College

2. Make Yourself Meaningful To Other People

Meaning in life is about making yourself meaningful to other people. Reflect on the positive contributions that you have made, or the influence you would like to have on your employees, clients, partners, community and the planet. Also, research has shown that strong relationships enhance our sense of meaning in life. As we help, teach, inspire, give and share our lives with others, our existence turns into mutual joy. – Andreea Vanacker, SPARKX5


Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?


3. Ensure Employees Understand The Impact Of Their Work

Make sure every employee understands the impact of their work on the customer. If a business is designed based on the client-first approach, it is easy to communicate the meaning of every activity. If not, then it is time to rethink the approach. – Sergej Derzap, Amasty

4. Give Clear Career Progression To Employees

Many people set out to find different jobs or even career paths because they have no clear path in their career in your company. Give all of your employees a clear career progression to ensure that they stay with you in the times to come, no matter how tough they are. – Dimitri Akhrin, CRMDialer

5. Focus On The People You Serve

There is nothing more motivating to me than helping my team accomplish their goals (both professionally and personally). Sometimes the best way to reinvigorate yourself is to serve someone else. Leaders have the noble opportunity (and obligation) to strengthen their team. Find a team member that could use some extra attention and find a way to help them. – Jordan Smith, Jet Dental

6. Take A Walk Outside

Take a walk outside in the middle of the day for 30 minutes—phone off, without focusing on work. Looking at the small details—the colors of the buildings, trees, flowers. Gently observing and appreciating the small things in my environment actually helped me to be more attuned in my work environment and to think better and clearer for the remainder of the day. – Hao Lam, Best in Class Education Center

7. Remind Staff They’re On A Supportive Team

Throughout this pandemic, I constantly remind staff that we are all in this together and build peer-to-peer support. The bonding of the employee with his or her manager and the immediate team makes a big difference in helping the employee find meaning in their work and building a resilient culture that promotes mental and physical well-being—given the long-lasting pandemic challenges. – David Qu, Joint Commission International

8. Embrace And Build On Individual Experiences

I think it’s fair to say that the past 15 months have been a huge eye-opener for everyone in a great many respects including realigning priorities after being at home with their kids, working hours, days and months with the only interaction being pixels on a screen and sadly, the loss of loved ones. As leaders, we need to capture those elements with our team members, help embrace and then build on them. – Howard Rosen, LifeWIRE Corp

9. Find Personal Alignment With The Problem You’re Solving

Leaders should find personal alignment with the problem their company is solving, be it a marketing company that’s helping small businesses scale or an ed-tech company helping students learn. Leaders who are invested in the underlying mission of their companies will find more meaning in their work and will be able to inspire themselves, their customers and their team members. – Victoria Lakers, Calibre One

10. Be Part Of Something Larger

Be part of something larger than yourselves, and do not focus on what you will get back. Practice radical generosity by doing things for your industry at large, the communities where your locations are or at some organization that speaks to you as a company—better yet do all of the above. Good things will come back to you in spades. – Esther Kestenbaum Prozan, Ruby Has Fulfillment

11. Anchor Business Strategy In Purpose

This is the time for a leader to be purpose-driven and lead as a force for good. Something has perceptibly shifted, no doubt. The leaders of today must anchor their business strategy in purpose and share ownership of their larger mission with their stakeholders. Leaders who embrace a growth leadership mindset will be able to achieve goals while leading with purpose during the pandemic and beyond. – Devapriya Khanna, 212° Brand Lab 

12. Make Opportunities For Employees And Their Families

For me, one of the things that I find meaning in is the opportunities that my employees’ jobs give their families. We pay a fair wage and share the wealth when things are good, allowing our employees to support their families, give opportunities to their children and otherwise improve their lives. My company is making a difference in improving the lives of others which is meaningful to me. – Susan Naftulin, Rehab Financial Group, LP

13. Be Open And Vulnerable

As leaders, we often walk alone and it’s easy to lose ourselves while caring for everyone else. Being open and vulnerable to most critical stakeholders—family, employees, customers, investors—can help reset expectations. Shared goals can help. You can also do your most favorite work—make time at work to actively do things you enjoy. Directly building things can be very cathartic. – Vikram Ahuja, Talent500

14. Conduct Values Assessments

Values assessments are pertinent in supporting people to continually check in with themselves to ensure that the actions they are taking and where they are investing their energy is aligned to their core values. When we are living in alignment with our values, we find meaning in what we are showing up for. When our actions are not aligned to our values, we stagnate and feel uninspired. – Sigourney Weldon, SIGOURNEY BELLE

15. Get Out Of Your Office

Go to the front lines of your organization, the factory floor and to your customers—talk to people about what your organization does and why do they care. Listen to their stories without pitching or selling or shaping the conversation. Then reflect—are you making our world better? How can you make a positive impact to them? – Robert Isherwood, AMBAC International

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