Connecting the Dots: Finding Meaning
Today’s millennials really care about their work. In a survey, 50% listed “meaning” as the #1 reason they want a job. Amy Wrzesnieski, a Yale Management professor, explained it like this, “Students think their calling is under a rock, and if they turn over enough rocks, they will find it.”
It has been proven that people understand the ultimate “meaning” in their work find more satisfaction in it and do a better job at it. Even if the job is not what someone wants to do forever. Understanding a greater purpose in day to day work, provides more fulfillment and ultimately satisfaction.
One way to find meaning is connecting to the end user. How does what I do effect someone else? I recently worked with an institution that provided services for banks all across the world. This small group of behind the scene developers discussed what they did and who they helped. They began to connect the dots:
- from their work to….
- first time home buyers to….
- creating jobs across the country and even to….
- the global economy….
In 1962, the story goes, President John F. Kennedy toured NASA. Amongst the workers there he asked one of the janitors what he was doing. The man replied, “I am helping put a man on the moon.” Yes, he did.
Working parents, no matter their job, find meaning in providing food, shelter and opportunity for their families – any one of whom may well go on to save lives or provide employment for others. The dots…. are very important.
Perhaps one of the most important jobs in the world is being the employee/the manager/the CEO/ the PERSON who connects the dots for others – who helps others find meaning on a daily basis. A paycheck is great – a purpose is magnificent. Great leaders learn how to help others connect the dots….and find purpose. Nothing will motivate better. Purposeful employees not only do the job – they do it to the best of their abilities – and then they best their best. Job….purpose…. EXCELLENCE.
Connect the dots, my friends.