How To Find Meaning In Your Work

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What is the meaning of life? Who’s to say? I don’t know the answer. Maybe there are multiple right answers. I’ve found that to be true in many, many areas of life. So why wouldn’t it be true for this question…

And even work can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. You may view a certain job or business as having no meaning. But to someone that works there it might mean everything. Maybe it’s not about the work so much as it’s about providing for yourself and for your family. That can provide meaning.

But let’s say you’re struggling with the question of meaning at work.

Here are a few thoughts…

Are You Afraid Of Failure?

For many, meaning comes from learning. And learning comes from trying new things. And if you’re trying something new you’re probably not going to be very good at it. Maybe pretty good, but not mastery level good.

Many of us go through things in life that make us fear failure. Maybe someone in our lives growing up was critical of us and to avoid that criticism we avoided things that were new and stuck with things we were good at. There could be a number of reasons, big and small, that can lead to a fear of failure.

And this can certainly creep into your work. Maybe you’ve been in same position for years. Have you sought out other positions? Have you tried learning new things that could lead to growth in the organization?

Take some time to consider why you might be avoiding learning and growth as a result of fear.

Have You Looked For The Upward Career Path?

Sometimes it can seem there is no meaning in our work because we feel stuck. I remember watching one of those business shows where the owner spoke with employees and learned that many of them didn’t realize there was an upward program for employees at all levels to grow within the company. The owner immediately worked to make the communication better.

If you’re feeling a lack of meaning it could be that you feel stuck. Finding a way to grow in your field, with your current company or without, could be a way to find the meaning you seek.

What Will You Sacrifice For Change?

In order to get something new we often have to give something up. That’s a tricky thing about life because it feels like humans have evolved to value what we have now. I can understand that if you are a human living in ancient times and struggling for basic things that you wouldn’t want to give up anything. The risk of giving something up to try something new could kill you.

But today it’s not quite that scary. And I don’t want to downplay anybody’s situation. Obviously don’t give things up that could potentially ruin your life. But a lot of times the worst case scenario isn’t that bad.

What Do You Spend Your Time Doing

Time commitments may require that you have to put your job on the back burner. For example, becoming a parent is a huge responsibility. You have to spend a lot of time and energy with the child and that comes at the expense of other things. Some from hobbies, but possibly even work especially if you’re used to working more than 8 hour days and more than 7 days a week.


Meaning is a tricky thing. It can mean different things to different people. There can multiple right answers even for the same person. Hopefully these things can help you figure out your situation. It’s not an enjoyable experience when you feel lost at work. Meaning provides a spark to life.

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