Nick Williams: author of “The Work We Were Born To Do” lists the following things that I think are good to keep in mind
One of the topics I am frequently asked about is how our work can have meaning beyond mere financial survival and paying the bills. It is something I have studied and thought about alot and here are some of the factors that I have found to be present in people who find their work intrinsically fulfilling and meaningful.
1. What you do has some significance to you – it makes a positive difference in someone’s life. You feel that you labour and energy are used significantly and make a contribution. The greater good is served somehow.
2. You get to identify and use your particular creative talents and gifts – you get to express the best of you, which leads to a sense of joy.
3. You get to be who you uniquely are and not just play a role or be a nameless resource
4. You receive some acknowledgement for what you do and the way you do it – you feel appreciated and you appreciate yourself
5. You can keep being stretched, learn, grow and become more of what you are capable of being and develop your talents
6. A sense of freedom and autonomy – that you are able to set some of your own goals and decide how you spend your time and energy
7. You have a sense of belonging and being included – either to an organisation, a network, clients, an idea or the wider world
Of course, all these can apply to both paid and voluntary work.