Finding Meaningful Work

Finding Meaningful Work

For me a “job” is work you do for the money. You may be no more connected to it than a paycheck. A “career” suggests a personal investment (i.e., in education and training), progression over time (i.e., promotions, greater responsibility, a ladder to climb), and a connection between your personal idea of a purposeful life and the work that you do. Many of us want a career but may not know how to find it. Here are some ideas.

Self Knowledge

You may have taken tests that are designed to provide you with information about your personal strengths, weaknesses, values, and purpose. There are many tests out there from the Myers Briggs that classifies the way you make decisions and see the world (I am an INTJ). Others, like Strengths Finder 2.0 are designed to help you clearly identify your top five talents (mine are Learner, Strategic, Input, Connectedness, and Responsibility). You can take these tests on your own and read the report but I find that it really helps if you have an expert help you figure out what to do with the information. Specifically how you can connect your personality, talents, etc. to a career. Even if you have taken tests like this before. I encourage you to take them again. You change over time. Make sure you understand who you are today.

Career Options

So many people struggle with this. I know what I have done, I have some ideas about what I could do, I may even know what I want to do. But what’s next? Having someone who has career counseling expertise is especially helpful here. I was thinking about the horse that pulls a carriage around Old Town Fort Collins. The horse has blinders. Our ability to see career options outside of the range we know can be similarly limited. And like some horses, if the blinders are removed we may get spooked with the sheer variety of options out there. Making sense of these options is not something most of us are well equipped to do. Another reason to work with a professional–to organize and prioritize your options.

Work-Life Balance

Talking about work-life balance is so common these days that we really don’t even stop to think about what it means. It occurred to me last week that the phrase suggests a separation between work on the one hand and life on the other, as if they are part of two distinct realms. This way of thinking pervades many articles you see online, structures everyday conversations, and may even be how you feel. But work is part of life and I think what we are all seeking is a way to have work be a meaningful part of our lives.

If you would like support finding a way to integrate a satisfying career into your life, please consider our career counseling services. Contact us at We have proven methods to help you make career changes that will help you achieve the life you want to live.

By: Bryan Dennis, Career Solutions Group