We’ve all had the experience of “that job”—the one you dread going to every morning, the one that singes your soul and causes you to feel a massive sense of dread whenever it’s time to go back into the office. For many people, this is just an inevitable part of life: no matter how much you love your work, there will always be times where you wake up and just feel like staying in bed. But what if that feeling isn’t just a passing emotion? Do you know how to find meaning in your work?
We live in an era where “good jobs” have become increasingly scarce and the ones that remain are highly sought after. And while many of these jobs come with excellent benefits and perks, employees today often desire more than just a paycheck.
For decades, we’ve been talking about employee happiness in terms of what would make them stick around for a few years and get the job done. But workers today want more than just some happiness—they want to feel fulfilled by what they do and energized by how they work. They not only want their work to be meaningful, they want their employers to be as well. Employers should be shifting to meet workers’ expectations. This means fostering a work environment that allows employees to find meaning in their work.
And why wouldn’t they want to find meaning? Workers are spending more time at work than ever before and less time at home than past generations—and there’s no sign that’s going to change soon. In addition, half of the workforce are Millennials, who have grown up with access to so much information that they expect transparency from those around them—including their employers. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg (or is it the tip of the ice cream cone?).
To illustrate the importance of this trend, here are some stats:
- More than half of U.S. workers (56%) say finding work that is meaningful is more important to them than a higher salary, according to research by Comparably.
- A study by LinkedIn discovered that 82% of employees would take a pay cut for better culture.
- More than 80% of people around the world believe they can have a successful career without sacrificing their personal life or values, according to Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trends report.
One of the biggest ways companies are doing this is by making sure their work environments are diverse and inclusive, which means everyone feels welcome and at home in their surroundings (and you can’t really feel whole when you don’t feel welcome). Companies are also working hard to provide meaningful work for their employees, to give them something important and impactful to do every day.
So if you’ve always dreamed of working for a company where you feel welcomed, respected for your unique talents and perspective, and given the chance to make a serious impact on the world with your work, now’s the time!