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Why is it important to have a meaningful job?

by Elizabeth Harmon

While working to have a roof over your head and food on the table is essential, should you only be looking at your job as a way to earn money? Or should your career provide you with more, such as a happier and more fulfilled life? After all, a significant chunk of your time, every day, is spent working.

According to a Meaningful Work study by Beaumont People, 96% of Australians now value happiness and better conditions over money at work. If finding a meaningful job isn’t on your agenda right now, it could be time to give it some thought.

What factors make a job meaningful?

A meaningful job is where you feel that your work matters. It’s a job that connects you to something you care about, makes you feel fulfilled, gives you a sense of purpose and aligns with your personal goals.

In Beaumont’s research, they also found that the top 3 most important contributors to meaningful work were having trust from managers, working in a business with a positive culture and doing work that makes a difference to the broader society.

Meaningful job
Securing a meaningful job

What makes a job meaningful will be different for every person though. Your definition of a meaningful job will likely change over time too, as your life, values and priorities change. Why not take a moment right now, with a pen and paper, to jot down some thoughts around what you feel would make a job meaningful for you?

Here are some ideas to help get you started:

  • You can clearly see how your contributions have a positive impact on the overall business
  • You get to help people on a day-to-day basis by providing care or mentorship
  • You find your role mentally stimulating and have the opportunity to learn new skills
  • You have a clear sense of direction through pre-defined measures of success, which will help lead to career progression
  • You feel trusted and empowered by managers, such as being able to decide when and where you work, which also leads to a better work-life balance
  • Your company donates to charity or gives staff time to support community initiatives

How is having a meaningful job important?

We’re certainly not suggesting that choosing a job with a good pay packet isn’t important. But if you can, why not have a career that pays well and provides you with meaning too?

Having a meaningful job isn’t just a “nice to have”. It can be hugely important for your mental health and wellbeing. Who wants to spend 40 hours a week tied to a job that doesn’t stimulate you or make you happy?

Meaningful job option
Importance of having a meaningful job

In a meaningful job, you’re more likely to have job satisfaction, leading to higher productivity and performance. You may feel more committed to the company you work for, leading to a stronger sense of belonging and community.

If you’re happier at work because you’ve found meaning, this will trickle out into the rest of your life too. So, when you return home from work, you’ll be more contented, which will positively impact your broader wellbeing, personal relationships, and more.

Finding a meaningful job that gives you greater job satisfaction

When you think about your current job, you may realise that it already gives you all the meaning you need or that there are ways to make small changes, making it more fulfilling in the long term. But you may also realise that it could be time for a new job, a shift in the industry you work in, or it may be an opportunity to set up your own business.

With any career change, it’s important to make sure you have the right skills. At Open Colleges, we have many nationally recognised courses to help you upskill and reskill. The great news is, many of our courses are carried out online, providing lots of benefits. For example, it means your learning can fit around your existing commitments, like your current job. This enables you to have a smoother transition into a new meaningful career.

Browse our wide range of online courses now and take your first step towards finding a new meaningful job that makes you feel fulfilled every day.

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