It’s no surprise that a daily routine can eventually become mundane, and your job is no exception. There comes a point when you feel like your job has no meaning and you lose your purpose. You become lazy, bored, unmotivated, and ultimately unfulfilled. You play victim to your environment and blame your boss, your company culture, and corporate America for forcing you into this less than ideal state of mind. It is completely normal to get bored of your responsibilities and tasks at work, but rather than dismissing it, or acting on the other extreme and quitting, there is something else you can do. What if I told you that you have more control than anyone in this situation and can actually get yourself out of the rut? If you’re like me (or how I was), you wouldn’t believe it.
Trust me when I say, I’ve been there. I have personally experienced this recently, and I was convinced I was stuck with no way out. I saw only two options: suck it up and stay miserable, or quit and find a new job. But then I came across this study called “Making work more meaningful: Building a fulfilling employee experience” and I’m not exaggerating, it blew my mind. I read it immediately, sent it to my friends, then printed it out, re-read it again, and highlighted/took notes. Call me crazy, but it had that profound of an effect on me.
This study was designed to “measure US worker attitude about personal fulfillment in the workplace.” I highly recommend reading the full report, but I’m going to share a quick summary and my biggest takeaways.
“Fulfillment” is the number one thing we are all seeking in the workplace. It is defined as “a feeling we have when we are working in alignment with our intrinsic motivations and gain a sense of purpose.” More importantly, this study taught me how to find it: by being self-motivated and taking ownership of your own fulfillment at work. This sounds like such a simple concept, but it’s also so easy to forget this in the midst of our negative mindset when we are stuck in a rut at work. There is so much freedom that comes with the realization that you have the power and you are in control of your job satisfaction.
The study found that “an astounding 82% of employees agree that it is primarily their own responsibility (to make work meaningful for themselves) and 42% say they are their own greatest barrier to finding fulfillment at work.” Of course other factors come into play, and your company has to set up the foundation for you to succeed, but it is ultimately up to you to create a meaningful and fulfilling work experience for yourself.
If you are serious about finding your own fulfillment, begin by focusing on these 3 critical hallmarks of a fulfilling work experience:
- Relationships (a sense of belonging and connecting to others) – The people you work with have a huge impact on your overall job satisfaction, so you should make every effort to connect and relate to them on a personal level. Take an interest in their life by asking questions about their family, hobbies, or discuss some common interests like TV shows or a new restaurant you’ve been to.
- Impact (progress towards a goal we believe in) – It’s critical to feel proud and accomplished at work. Think about how the work you’re doing has benefited your company. Have you made a direct impact on the success of your department? When you feel like you’ve made a difference, you will feel fulfilled and inspired to keep going.
- Growth (personal challenge that we overcome) – Are you doing everything you can to grow in your current position? Are you acquiring new skills, taking on more responsibility, and volunteering to help your colleagues? What you put into your work is what you will get out of it. Make it your priority to focus on your professional development.
I’ll leave you with three questions that stem directly from the above, for you to ponder as you reflect on how to find your personal fulfillment at work.
- Do you have meaningful relationships at work?
- Is your work making an impact that is meaningful to you?
- Are you growing personally and professionally at work?
I was truly struck with how intensely this resonated with my personal experience, and I hope you find it helpful too. Stay tuned for more on the topic of fulfillment at work, and more tips on how to find it.
A working professional and a lifelong dreamer, Bohdana strives to merge her passions with her everyday reality. She is a proud Ukrainian and a loyal Chicagoan (despite the winters). She loves traveling, reading, pursuing self-improvement, and sharing her stories. Allow this blog to bring you motivation and inspiration on your own journey to rise beyond.