Meaningful Work That Matters

A string of rejections in looking for meaningful work

It’s been almost six months since my husband and I decided I would go back to work. We have a financial goal to pay off our house in the next few years. If I went back to work that dream would become a reality, otherwise, it would take twice as long. During this six months of searching, I’ve primarily focused on a global technology company that has a headquarters where I live. Despite rejections, I tenaciously press forward because I believe that meaningful work matters (which I’ll explain later).

However, after more than a dozen rejections I can’t help but remember my career in banking. My tenure in that industry spanned more than a decade and during that time I survived and thrived through at least five mergers and acquisitions. In particular, one memory that keeps coming up is the unspoken rule of “50 and fired” that repeatedly happened with every merger.  During the merger, human resources would identify those who were 50+ and target them for early retirement. Makes financial sense for corporations to do that but I also witnessed the loss of some smart, value adding employees. Now that I am in that category I can’t help but get discouraged by the string of rejections. Especially since 99% of them happen as a result of an automated computer model. Or so it appears.

Simon Sinek says meaningful work Starts with the Why

At the center of my pressing on is the idea of meaningful work.  I first heard of Simon Sinek in a TedTalk about his Golden Circle Theory which later became his best-selling book “Start with the Why“. The gist of it is, the companies that are most successful internally (with employees) and externally (customers/shareholders) have mastered the art of communicating their why.  While the prospects of working for a why inspired company is exciting, long term our work will only be truly meaningful if we are working from our own sense of why.  And when that personal sense of why aligns with the companies why. I discovered my personal why by going through Simon’s Start with the Why coaching program. Subsequently, I became licensed to Coach individuals through their own Why journey. (Email me for details)

Work has meaning only when it is meaningful to you. tweet

Ultimately, my why includes an environment that:

  • Continually offers learning (growth) opportunities
  • Challenges to solve problems; whether that’s clients problems or processes within a company
  • Collaboration – working with teams to solve problems
  • Innovation – ability to combine knowledge from various fields of study to generate creative solutions
  • Use of my writing, speaking and coaching skills to inspire change

Whether the doors open in a corporation or in my own coaching practice, meaningful work is what matters. What makes your work meaningful? How can you create more of the work that matters and less of the work that doesn’t?

Grab a journal and reflect on the following questions:

  1. On days that I am excited to go to work, what is the reason behind that excitement?
  2. I love when I am able to help others _________________________.
  3. How does my personal why align with the company why where I work?

3 thoughts

  1. Karen Zeigler, You Answered My Unasked Question In Your Article!😉 Been Wondering How I Had Missed Our Women’s Ministry Video’s. Now, I Know. It Is A Wise Goal & Will Bring More Family Time Down The Road.
    1. My Excitement Comes When, I’m Serving Anyone. GOD Always Makes Appearances!

    2. I Love When I Can Mirror Contentness & Happiness Through Something That Would Generally Feel Or Seem Negative.

    3. It Beautifully Aligns, I Volunteer Doing Something To Uplift Others Every Day. I Find, I’m Uplifted In Being Kind, Sharing A Smile, Giving A Hand To Help Someone, Pointing Out Something Positive, When The Day Isn’t Feeling Positive! I Remember The Saying & Verse, My Cup Is Always Full & Running Over! I Would Rather Work In Being Happy & Positive, Then Being Negative & Taking Others Down With Me.

    OK, Gals…What Do You All Think?

    1. Beautifully said Jean. Your servants heart is a blessing to the many you serve and to all that see you in action. Keep pouring out the positive. 🙂

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