“When does a job feel meaningful? Whenever it allows us to generate delight or reduce suffering in others. Though we are often taught to think of ourselves as inherently selfish, the longing to act meaningfully in our work seems just as stubborn a part of our make-up as our appetite for status or money. It is because we are meaning-focused animals rather than simply materialistic ones that we can reasonably contemplate surrendering security for a career helping to bring drinking water to rural Malawi or might quit a job in consumer goods for one in cardiac nursing, aware that when it comes to improving the human condition a well-controlled defibrillator has the edge over even the finest biscuit.
Alain de Botton, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, 78-80
I think de Botton is spot on here. But what if you don’t find any meaning in your work, should you change your job? Not necessarily. The point is not a career change but a perspective change. It is try to get some time to figure out how your job helps people and/or generates delight in people. It is when we go from meeting to meeting and task to task and we never stop to think of the way that God may be using our work to enrich the lives of others do we lose sight of the meaning in our jobs.
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