Finding meaning in your work

It is a fact of life that we do not always get what we want. In Choosing your first employer: Dos and don'ts, I briefly touched on the idea that the ideal job means weighing the pros and cons attached to them. During a meeting with my ex-schoolmates last week, I realised that some of them are already having firsthand experiences of how a mismatch of expectations at the workplace is affecting them. If you too, feel that your job is not what you expected it to be, then I believe you will be able to relate to these three tips about how you can find meaning in your work.

1. Remember WHY you chose to take up this job in the first place!

Whether you have been at the job for a month, two months or even a year, remember why you ended up in the job. Perhaps it was the only job available and you have bills to pay, or a new home to save up for; perhaps you wanted to use the brand name of the company to get a head start in the industry of your choice, or the opportunity to work with a renowned person in the field. Either way, this should be the first point of consideration before you break your employment contract and jump on to the next bandwagon.

2. If you’re really stuck, think about how everything works out in the bigger picture.

Instead of mulling over how lousy this job is and how much you want to leave it and pursue what you really want, remind yourself about all the other times when you felt trapped and how you overcame them. For instance, or when you tried your best to pass a NAPFA or IPPT test: It is understood that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. So if completing your stint at your current job will bring you closer to what you want, press on and you will eventually get there.

3. Know what you want to do next.

Now that you are officially in a job you do not love, you are also in a position to evaluate how you can take steps to be in a job that you do love. Figure out what it is about the job that you dislike: It could be the long hours, stressful corporate culture, bleak career progression pathway, or things like the long commute to work everyday. Whatever it is, you now know what you value and what you need to look out for in future jobs.

As fresh graduates, it is easy to get sucked into other people’s idea of a perfect job and end up wondering “why am i here” or “why am I feeling this way when this is what I wanted”. Fret not, as this is part and parcel of any Professional, Manager or Executive’s career trajectory. and you can overcome it either by accepting that the trials come with the tribulations, or by planning your exit strategy early and knowing what you want to move on to. As a parting note: You CAN find meaning in your work, however bad it is in that moment!


- FreshGrad91








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