How to pursue meaningful work.
Once you’ve found what moves you emotionally, both positively and negatively, the next step is uncovering where you can apply your skills and talents to foster those emotions.
A good place to begin is identifying all of your skills and talents. What are you able to do both professionally and in your personal life?
Be sure you include skills you might take for granted, like being a good listener, having self-discipline, or having a calm demeanor.
All of these skills can provide value in specific settings. After you list those skills, think about where those skills would be useful.
Simply brainstorm all of the careers, pursuits, or volunteer opportunities where your various skills might be desirable or useful.
Don’t place any judgements on this list yet. Simply collect the data.
This might take a bit of research online to match skills with opportunities. But work on this until you exhaust all ideas.
Once you have a list of all of your skills and the possible job or volunteer opportunities, compare each of those opportunities to your list of desirable emotions you want from meaningful work.
Ask yourself, “Do I think this opportunity could afford me these feelings?”
Of course you can’t know for sure until you really engage with the opportunity.
But you likely have an inkling about which opportunities have the most potential for providing those meaningful feelings.
Narrow your list down to your top 3-4 possibilities.
- Begin researching and exploring these possibilities more intently.
- Find people who are currently pursuing them or working in the field and ask questions.
- Learn more about the daily responsibilities and how you’d be spending most of your time.
- Shadow someone who is doing what you’re considering.
- Begin as a volunteer or intern, or pursue something part-time or as a consultant until you see if the work connects with you on a profound and fulfilling level.
Even if the job is not where you see yourself, or it doesn’t pay what you think you deserve, or it doesn’t have the prestige or security of your current job, you may discover the compelling and soul-satisfying nature of the work morphs into a real passion.
When you combine meaning and passion, you create a combustible force that can explode into a new and exciting life you never previously imagined.
Old values, priorities, and goals fall away as you experience the transformative power of living and working authentically, doing what you love, and connecting with something larger than yourself.