5 Ways to Make Your Job More Meaningful

In many of my leadership workshops and coaching sessions I am often asked, “How can I make my job more meaningful to me?” It’s usually followed with: “I am not totally unhappy with my role, it’s just that something feels like it is missing.” Maybe some of you are asking yourself the same questions right now. It’s not that we want to jump ship and move to another job all together, but rather we are sensing that something is missing in our current work situations.

It’s at this point that we may want to bury our heads in the sand and just forget about changing things up. If we choose this route of pretending everything is fine at work, we will probably continue to feel frustrated and angry. Our dissatisfaction might then spill over into our jobs and workplaces and may even cause us to become disengaged. So instead of moping and whining, it is time to own our real feelings about our jobs and empower ourselves to make some adjustments.

When leaders are frustrated with their work situations, they don’t ignore it; they make tweaks.

Here are five powerful ways to take ownership and tweak your job:

1. Move From Whining To Taking Action

It’s easy to get into a pattern of constantly complaining about our jobs. No role is perfect but that doesn’t mean we can’t change a few responsibilities to give our jobs more meaning and purpose. When we are tackling projects that call upon us to use our gifts and talents, we will feel more valued. If we are ready for a stretch assignment that will lead us to grow our skills, then we owe it to ourselves to ask for that type of work. Take action.

2. Decide What’s Working And What’s Not

Begin your process of exploration by analyzing your current responsibilities. Ask yourself these questions and write down your answers.

  • What specific parts of my job do I like?
  • What specific tasks do I avoid?
  • Where do I need to grow to move to another position?
  • What would bring me more joy or excitement in my job?

  • 3. Create The Job You Want

    Now comes the fun part. Reflecting on the answers you gave, craft the way you would like to tweak your job. Include both the areas of your current work responsibilities that you want to continue as well as the new tasks that you are eager to try out. Think about your vision for your leadership trajectory. Where do you want to go? Don’t worry if you aren’t highly experienced in an area you are interested. You can always learn and train to perfect your skills.

    To bring purpose to our work situation, leaders craft the job they want.

    4. Persuade The Decision-Makers

    The next step is convincing the people who can help move you forward why the tweaking is great for them, not just you. It isn’t good enough to just redo our job responsibilities on paper. We need to self-promote the areas we want to become more involved.

  • Explain your thought process on why you want to work on certain projects
  • Show the decision-makers how tweaking your job responsibilities will add value to the team or organization
  • Present your case with courage and enthusiasm

  • Related: 6 Leadership Traps To Avoid Disaster

    5. Showcase Your Tweaked Job

    Finally commit to working hard and keep everyone updated on your progress and successes. Share examples of how your new workload has helped you grow as a leader and contributed to a greater outcome for the organization. Model the way for other team members to also grow their careers by offering to open up about your process and actions.

    How have you made a job tweak? What additional steps did you take to make the change happen?