Meaning Making Filter
The major generational shift in the workplace in past twenty years is, candidates are now searching for jobs that offer a strong sense of meaning, not just a paycheck. This is a positive trend. Who doesn't want to make the quest for meaning more central to life at work? One online survey of more than a thousand office workers found that nearly fifty per cent of respondents would give up a pay raise for more meaningful work. Of those who'd forgo the raise, the average amount they'd give up was close to ten thousand dollars. Would you take a five figure pay cut to feel that feeling? Apparently, purpose is quite the expensive commodity. Before you answer that question, though, let’s talk about the psychological and existential construct of meaning.
MEANING MAKING FILTER -- Conceptualize creative work through psychological and existential construct of meaning
How each person defines, pursues and manages it makes all the difference. Firstly, meaning is not something man searches for. It's not located anywhere outside of the self. Meaning is created, not found. Secondly, meaning is not something that is offered to us like office snacks or unlimited personal time off. There is no manager, company, parent, government, institution or universal cosmic force that is responsible for delivering meaning to us. We alone are the arbiters of it. Therefore, if we want to make meaningful work a priority in our lives, we have permission to do just that. No matter what job we hold, it can offer us a strong sense of meaning because we are the ones who are doing the offering. Any of us can create intentional pathways to meaningfulness through the story we tell ourselves about the work we do. We can train ourselves to frame our choices, actions and days in the greatest possible light. We can elevate what most people would view as drudgery into a series of life purpose choices.
My job as head of content for a startup, where we help companies sell everything from makeup subscriptions to luxury purses to athleisure apparel, is not exactly changing the world. It's not like we're doing god's work here. It's capitalism. Consumerism. We're helping million dollar corporations use digital advertising to sell truckloads of products that nobody needs. That's the cold, objective reality of my workplace, and it rarely crosses my mind on a daily basis. The narrative running through my head is, okay, ever day at work is another chance for me to use my superpowers of creation, connection and contentment to add value and be of service to this small community of people. Period.
Your meaning making filter is the story you're telling yourself. Whether or not it's grandiose or pretentious or accurate doesn't really matter, because it motivates you. It helps guarantee you unique experience of meaningfulness, regardless of what happens on any given day. The best part is, you don't need to take a ten thousand dollar pay cut to feel that way. What feeling are you waiting for permission to feel?
Find a strong sense of purpose in any job
Motivate yourself regardless of mood or money
Thoughtful frame creative choices in the best possible light
Guarantee a unique experience of fulfillment in your work