CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JAN. 06, 2016
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4 Distinctions To Explore When Building A Meaningful Career

We often focus on having a successful career, not realizing that what we should truly be aiming for is having a meaningful career; one that gives our work life purpose and complements the rest of our life.

See Also: How to Steer Clear of Bad Career Advice

However, to do that you need to consider what a meaningful career means to you. It’s not just to do with whether you’d feel proud to talk about your work at networking events; it’s more to do with how you feel about yourself and your work each and every day. To establish whether you lead a meaningful career, consider these four distinctions:

1. Legacy

Legacy here doesn’t mean that you should build an empire that will be remembered until the end of time. Leaving a legacy is more to do with what you want to achieve in your career. For some people leaving a legacy could mean building the next Facebook, while for some others leaving a legacy would have more to do with joining a cause that would impact the world.

It’s important to consider this aspect of your career as you need to know why you are working on what you are working. This will not only make you more focused and more productive, but it will also help you achieve a proper work-life balance.

2. Mastery

We all have skills and strengths that can help us move forward in our respective careers. But, it’s important to continue working on these skills in order to become masters of our art.

Take for example a painter. Being a great painter isn’t just about being able to make portraits, it’s about learning to work with all techniques and finding what can help you stand out and what can make your art truly unique.

The same goes for all of us in whatever career we may find our work in; we should all aim at mastering our skills and finding a way to make those skills work in our favour to make us unique.

3. Freedom

We often feel trapped in our lives; it’s often the result of working long hours and not making enough money. But in order to lead a meaningful life, you need to achieve a level of freedom in your career.

To do that you need to consider what you need to feel free in your career. Don’t focus on your salary, after all, it’s just a number. Focus on what you personally need to feel free, and then consider whether your job grants you these freedoms. Should you find that it does not, consider what steps you can take to gain these freedoms. If you find that you need to make a change in your career path, don’t shy away from this possibility. If it’s a meaningful career you are after, you are going to need to take risks and make sacrifices.

4. Alignment

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In order to lead a truly purposeful life, you are going to need to be in alignment with your organization’s values. If the organization where you work does not share your values, you are never going to be able to feel free. Therefore, it’s important that your workplace shares the same values as you do. To do that you really need to think about whether the company culture of the place where you work fits you. If you find that you can’t be yourself in your company, consider switching workplace.

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We often think that the only way forward is to find a job with more money and more benefits; a job that we can brag about to our friends and families. But that does not necessarily make a meaningful career. A meaningful career means that your mission in life is in alignment with what you do in your professional life.

What do you think is important to make your career meaningful? Share your views in the comment section below.

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