How to Choose a Meaningful Career


It is something most of us think about as we complete our education and prepare for the job market: how do we choose a career that makes our lives meaningful and meaningful? What does the definition look like to different people, and how difficult is it to achieve it? Is it easier to get a meaningful job in a world where, thanks to technology, there are more jobs now than ever before?

In a recent interview with Dr. Amy Wrzesniewski, an associate professor of organizational ethics at Yale School of Management, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman asks what it means to receive your calling. The biggest point to take on the idea of ​​”co-operation” in one’s work: When people feel that they are contributing in a way that is self-fulfilling and positively impacting others, they are more likely to view their work as meaningful.

An important part of this interaction is the concept of extreme independence. Wrzesniewski explains:
“The advice I often give people is,” Look inside, look inside; if that fails, look inside. ‘Which is a very different way of directing people than taking them out… forget them for a moment. What kinds of opportunities or problems or issues or communities… do you find most beneficial and worth fighting for and worth sacrificing? ”


Ideally if these causes are related to you personally.

It doesn’t focus too much on you, says Wrzesniewski, but the impact on what you personally will obviously be. What happens is that these two channels – your inner world and the outer world – merge into a single stream of selfishness and selflessness, and the process of its flow is what human historian Ruth Benedict calls “cooperation”:

“Ruth Benedict described co-operation as a social institution that combines selfishness and unselfishness by violating its unity so that the relationship between them is resolved, passed, and formed a new, higher unity. This should be organized by organizations so that when a person wants to be self-sufficient, he will automatically help others, and when he is not self-sacrificing, he will automatically reward himself and satisfy himself. Benedict suggested co-operation as a function of advanced culture. ”

In the most healthy culture he had learned, there was no “division between man and the world.” For they themselves are helping the earth; and when they helped the world, they helped themselves. Personally “disappears or merges with the rest of the world in a way that allows the two to come together more.”


If there is no difference between your identity and your work, Kaufman adds, “it simply goes unnoticed.”

Here are some details from their chat:
People who have received their calling say that their job is “something I would love to do even if I didn’t have to do it”
People find 4 sources of meaning in their work: Independence, Others, Work Content, Spirituality
“Creating a work of art” is something that allows people to make their work more meaningful
Money does not pay: “Choosing activities that focus on money even if your motivation is focused on growth is not as beneficial as getting a job, day in and day out, focusing on helping other people. ”
The secret to a successful career is, therefore, to identify a simultaneous goal of connecting you with the outside world at a deeper level. While Kaufman and Wrezesniewski are not considering how we can do such a job, their conversation is encouraging to anyone who feels uncertain about his professional future. Aiming for this collaboration can be a very useful way to rename “work” as something we should naturally enjoy.




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