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The #1 Feature of a Meaningless Job

By Pam Nochlin

For decades, Americans have ranked purpose as their top priority, above promotions, income, job security, and hours. Most of us have jobs that are too small for our spirit.

What makes a job meaningless?

Those that rarely have a significant, lasting impact on other people. If these jobs didn’t exist, people wouldn’t be all that much worse off.The good news is there are steps we can take to make jobs more meaningful.

The greatest untapped source of motivation, is a sense of service to others

  • In many cases, our jobs have an impact, but we’re too distant from the end users of our products and services

  • When we see the consequences of our jobs for others, we find greater meaning

  • Some jobs are not designed to have a major impact on others. In these situations, people make the mistake of treating their job descriptions as fixed, overlooking the fact that they can take initiative to alter their own roles

  • Call it, "Job Crafting,"adding, emphasizing, revising, delegating, or minimizing tasks and interactions in pursuit of greater meaning

  • For example, take the technology associates who volunteered for mentoring, teaching, and training roles

  • When people craft their jobs, they become happier and more effective

  • The chance to help others can be what makes our work worthwhile

  • “Suffering ceases to be suffering once it finds a meaning,” wrote Viktor Frankl in Man’s Search For Meaning

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