How does a job feel meaningful?
1. Taps into the deepest, most sincere and talented parts of us
2. One which helps others – which fixes a problems that humans have. Serves humanity. Provides a service to others
3. When the person doing it can sense day to day the impact of their work on an audience. Feels meaningful as one does it in a average day
Why is hard to find meaningful work?
1. Hard to locate true interest before paying bills is top focus. Interests require us to patiently analyze ourselves. Schools do not emphasize this in our education. People will work harder and better when their deep self is engaged
2. It is possible to make money selling things that aren’t helping others. Preying on their lack of self command. Most have a loose hold on what brings satisfaction.
3. Many companies are so large, it doesn’t feel like they are meaningful. The scale of modern enterprise has zapped a sense of meaning.
What can we do?
1. Pay a lot more attention to helping people find their vocation – their real working authentic selves (career psychotherapy, extended work placements, changes to school curriculum)
2. More customers support companies involved in meaningful work, the more meaningful jobs there will be. Consumers have enormous power over producers.
3. If company is too large, get better at telling stories of what the company is up to – give work intimacy of a small B&B.
Ensuring that work is meaningful is vital – not a luxury. Determines how hard and well people will work and how healthy and successful our societies can be.