To experience a more incredible life, it helps to recognize the importance your work has to your very existence. Regardless of your career, it’s wise to realize how lucky you are to have your job in these tough economic times and see the benefits it brings to your life.

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Consider these ways to find meaning in your work:

1. Ponder the end result of your work. What types of things do you achieve in an average day of work? Recognize you’ve done some pretty great things while on the job.

2. Discover what you enjoy. Try to find solace, excitement, or contentment in a day’s work.

  • Maybe you like the peace and quiet in the office. Perhaps you get excited and really get in to some of your projects. Or at the end of the day, you feel content about how well you worked with others or finished a task.

3. Work hard. For your work to have meaning for you, it’s necessary to invest something into it. Hard work is that investment. Strive to set a positive example. Make a personal decision to go the extra mile to be a quality employee.

4. Find a mentor. If there’s a guy at the office who’s been there 30 years and is fantastic at what he does, make an effort to know him. Take breaks with him. Have lunch with him. Make it your goal to find out what makes him tick.

  • Honor him by asking him to share some words of wisdom about the work.

5. Set your own work goals. Take a look at your most recent performance review. What kind of goals did you and your boss set? If they’re pretty general, establish specific goals to help you work toward becoming a model employee.

6. Keep a copy of your prior year’s performance review nearby. Read it monthly to focus your efforts and recognize the importance of what you do each day. Consider yourself one step closer to a fulfilling life.

7-Day Checklist to aid you in engaging in your career

Day 1. When you wake up this morning, think about what you’ll be doing today at work. Give yourself 10 or 15 minutes to reflect. Consider it your way of getting your thoughts gathered for whatever the day will bring.

Day 2. For one hour today, vow to work at “top level.” Maybe it’ll be catching up on all your phone and e-mail messages. Perhaps you’ll clean out your “In” box (finally). See what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it!

Day 3. Select one specific co-worker whom you find to be an excellent worker. Observe what it is about this person that causes you to label them as “excellent.” Jot down those characteristics.

Day 4. Pick one of the characteristics you learned about your co-worker and apply it today, all day, while you’re at work. When you choose just one thing to work on at a time, you’re better able to strengthen your skills.

Day 5. Although it may seem repetitious, again focus on the work characteristic you worked on yesterday. Think of it as establishing a habit. And in order to form a habit, it’s necessary to stay focused on that one task and do your best with it.

Day 6. Consider possibilities for mentors today. It might be someone in your office, but it could be someone you don’t actually work with directly. Have a short list of two or three people. Make a note to yourself to spend some time with each of them over the coming weeks to help you narrow your list to the person you’ll ask to mentor you.

Day 7. Dig up your latest performance review and read it. Renew the goals you and your supervisor set together.
When you make your work important, you’ll be more connected to it and your life will be enriched ten-fold. Put some effort into finding meaning in your work this week.