When Work Has Meaning

spider webWork can be good or bad, calming or frustrating, it can fly by or crawl.  What’s makes the difference?  Meaning.  When work has meaning you are happy, and when it does not you are not happy. (Or you’re happy for a different reason, likely because of a meaningful relationship.) You wear happiness on your sleeve when work has meaning, so it’s clear to all which camp you’re in.  Can’t hide it.  But what does it mean for work to have meaning?

Work has meaning when you see it as part of a bigger picture, when you see it as part of the bigger context, when you see it as knit into the big blanket of life, when you can see how other people benefit from your work, when you can see how society benefits from your work.  It’s not just the big jobs that can have meaning – they all can, regardless of pay or status.  Burger-flipper or CEO, teacher or janitor, writer or actor, all can find meaning in their work, or not.

Want to know if your work has meaning?  Answer these questions for yourself:

  1. Who benefits from my work?
  2. How are they better off because of my work?
  3. How does my work enable others to help others?
  4. How does my work help children? (my favorite)

The questions help you place your work in the spider web that is society – an intricate network of thin connections.  More connections radiating from your work, more meaning.  The further outward your work can jiggle the web, the greater the meaning.

Let’s face it, we spend a lot time at work.  You might as well enjoy it.  So, search for meaning, think about how your work helps others, and place yourself in the biggest, baddest spider web you can spin, and jiggle the hell out of it.


Click this link for information on Mike’s upcoming workshop on Systematic DFMA Deployment

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Mike Shipulski Mike Shipulski
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