April 17, 2024
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Seeing the Meaning in Our Work

In our last article we presented a number of strategies to help us feel more fulfilled at work. Below are some additional techniques that can deepen our sense of satisfaction from the work that we do each day.

When people craft their jobs, they become happier and more effective. In an experiment at Google, salespeople and administrators were invited to spend 90 minutes doing the Job Crafting Exercise. They mapped out ways to make their tasks and interactions more meaningful and contribute more to others. Six weeks later, their managers and coworkers rated them as happier and more effective. When they developed new skills to support more significant changes, the happiness and performance gains lasted for at least six months.

You may not have the authority to craft your jobs fully, but you can decide on which areas to spend more of your time and invest more of your energy.

If you’re not sure about how you make a difference, why don’t you go over to someone that you know and trust and ask them? If your workplace is not built on recognition, be the one to recognize others. Tell them what you noticed and appreciate… and be specific. Doing so will also start to make its way back to you

Often we worry about this, thinking that assertiveness will lead others to dislike us. But if you play it right, you will find that not only is assertiveness okay, but that leaders really want that from their team, to hear what their people have to say. Sometimes they just don’t know how to ask for it.

Assertiveness demonstrates leadership. Leadership is not about holding a fancy title. It is about inspiring and influencing others. You can be a leader. No matter who you are, you can positively influence and lead others. You can lend a helping hand. You can provide encouragement. You can make a difference in the lives of others. Never underestimate yourself and your capabilities.

When you invest in yourself, you see yourself and your work differently. Not only do you feel more competent and capable in what you do, but you wind up setting higher expectations for yourself. You also garner others’ respect, for your knowledge and for your willingness to keep going in your learning. I found out when I finished my doctorate that so many people would also like to continue growing and get an advanced degree. But most of them won’t. The fact that you did it is something that will command others’ respect and admiration.

Maybe your organization has funds available for this purpose. If it does, take full advantage of every opportunity. Even if it doesn’t, view the cost as an investment that will pay itself back manifold in the future.

Of course, the development that you seek should be fully in line with your present line of work or the work that you can easily envision moving into. That will make the investment worthwhile and keep you committed to finish.

Teaching others provides fulfillment. It allows you to pass on your knowledge and expertise to someone else. Being a mentor to others also helps you explore/improve your skill set in a different light. No matter how skilled you are, there is always something new to learn. Always remember that helping others is a wonderful part of life. Teaching and inspiring others provides meaning and depth to our lives. You can pass on your knowledge and skill set to future generations. No matter how large or small your contribution is, Your Contribution Matters.

When we work at something we invest ourselves into that thing. We no longer view the work as external. Instead, it becomes part of us.

By Rabbi Dr. Naphtali Hoff

 Rabbi Naphtali Hoff, PsyD, is President of Impactful Coaching & Consulting. He can be reached at 212-470-6139 or at [email protected].

 

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