How to Find Purpose and Meaning At Work

Angela Gullone

How to Find Purpose and Meaning At Work


How to Find Purpose and Meaning At Work
How to Find Purpose and Meaning At Work


Here are a few questions that aren’t going away.


What is my purpose in life, and how do I find it?


Figuring out what you’re about is a huge question . Most of us at one time or another will ask ourselves this question. But, how we respond to this problem differs between people. Many people look to work for the answer. For some, this question is unimportant. Tey don’t worry about finding purpose and meaning at work. They view work as nothing more than a job to earn money. For others, discovering how to find purpose and meaning at work is a huge stress point.


For me, finding purpose and meaning at work is an important question. In the past, working in jobs with no greater motivation other than to pay the bills felt soul destroying. I want to be in work that excited me and feels meaningful. Work which enables me to contribute towards something larger than my own needs.


Here’s what I know for sure about how to find purpose in your life.      


I move further and further away from finding purpose in my work when I view my purpose as something within me. Like it’s some unique or exclusive gift, skill or talent. You see how to find your purpose can’t be answered by approaching it with a question that is focused on the individual.

For me, such a question fed into my egos desire to feel important, unique and valuable. And, it had me looking outwardly for answers. I looked to the world for direction, approval and gratification of what my value could be. I viewed professional pathways, job titles, and employment as opportunities to prove my value. 


By looking outwardly I had allowed the opinions & judgements of others matter more than my own. From this perspective my sense of purpose and value in the world fluctuated. It became based on how others judged my accomplishments and successes. I was looking for purpose everywhere but was still not living a life with purpose.


How to Find Purpose and Meaning At Work




Here’s the thing about purpose in your life:


I’ve learned that purpose isn’t something you need to find, seek or uncover. That’s because it isn’t something out there that is fixed or waiting to be discovered. Finding meaning in work is less about WHO I think I am or WHAT I’m doing, and more a matter of HOW I’m doing it.


When I asked myself HOW I want to be in the world, I begin to engage differently. I begin to pay attention to the qualities I wanted to bring to my work. 


In this way I’ve learned that purpose and meaning in work are linked to:  

•             Contributing my best work at tasks.    

•             Collaborating with colleagues and involving the greater community.

•             Being consistent and reliable.

•             Rolling roll up my sleeves and asking how I can help here, rather than what’s in it for me?

•             Doing my best and paying attention to all the detail. The small stuff matters just as much as the big wins.

•             Being commitment to excellence even when no one is looking.


And you know what is great about focusing on the HOW rather than the WHAT?


When you make that mental shift from getting to giving, purpose follows. You find meaning in work by engaging, creating, shaping and contributing. 



by Angela Gullone, | Images courtesy of