What Happens When Your Meaningful Job is No Longer Meaningful?

  • Published on:
    October 2, 2019
  • Reading time by:
    8 minutes

Many of us have jobs that we find meaningful. We are helping people, whether directly or indirectly. For my job in particular, I do find a lot of meaning in simply know that I am genuinely helping our clients. What happens when that meaningful aspect goes away? When its no longer “I am helping someone!” and simply “I am here to work and leave.” What do you do? 

There is no perfect solution. There are a thousand reasons you can disengaged from a job—professional issues, personal issues, health issues, you name it. Here are a few tips to rope yourself back in. 

Simply Remind Yourself How You are Helping

There have been many days at my job where I get frustrated, upset, or annoyed. I end up watching the clock more than thinking critically about my job. Some days are going to be like that, but if it becoming the whole week, I try to re-center myself. I take a few minutes to look through my workload through the lens of “These are people I am helping, not cases I am moving along.” It’s usually enough to kick me back into gear for the rest of the day. 

Speak to a Coworker or Supervisor

My company actually does something fairly unique. Every Monday, the entire company has a meeting where at least a part of the discussion is on “Lessons Learned” and “Success Stories”. Now, sometimes we learned the lesson because someone on our team made a mistake, but oftentimes someone on the team tried something new, or looked at things from a different angle, and it worked. Getting to discuss ways in which we are growing and succeeding is a great way to make sure we are engaged.

Look at the End Result

In our industry, there is a lot of talk about the “end client”. Everything we should do should be for the benefit of the “end client”. When things are getting rocky or not going too smoothly, I look at the end client. Yes, the client might be frustrated now—and generally if the client is frustrated, we are as well—but how do I make sure that the end client is happy? What steps do I need to take to make sure that at the end of this transaction, the client is happy? Happy clients mean a happy support team. Working backward in that sense can help put a different spin on things.

Don’t Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself

Things go wrong. Sometimes, no matter how successful you are, there are aspects outside of your control that go wrong. You can be 100% in the right and still lose. I work cases for months, follow all of the steps, do everything right, and still don’t make a sale. It happens. In the past, I had gotten very upset about this—and it made me disengaged from my other cases. Realizing that not all of this is on me and that there are aspects outside of my control and my company’s control, does help. 

Decide if This Job is Where You Want to Be At

If all else fails and you cannot find a way to connect with the work you used to love, maybe its time to look elsewhere. Reevaluate what you want out of a job or redefine what you consider to be meaningful work. 

What do you think is the best way to reengage with your job? Any other hints or tricks? Comment below! 

Samantha Nicklaus

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