Why Finding a Meaningful Job Is So Important - Penn-Mar

Why Finding a Meaningful Job Is So Important

Posted on March 6, 2023

Work is a central part of our lives. It’s how we support ourselves and our lifestyles, which includes paying for housing, food, entertainment and hobbies, and more. What we do becomes a part of who we are as people and what we are able to do during our lives.

There are 168 hours in a week, and 40 of those hours are generally spent at work. That means we spend just under 25% of each week working. 

The average age for retirement in the U.S. is 64 for men and 62 for women. That means you may work anywhere between 40 and 50 years depending on when you begin working and when you retire, which equates to 10 to 12.5 years’ worth of work. With our careers being such a big part of our lives, it’s incredibly important that we enjoy what we do and do something worthwhile. After all, we are committing about one-fourth of our lives to it.

Finding a meaningful job is both about doing something that is meaningful to you personally as well as being meaningful in the greater context of the world. For example, working in healthcare can be meaningful for you and the world because you are helping people access the care they need, which allows them to live happier and healthier lives. You are helping people on an individual level, which in turn is also making the world a better place. 

In fact, 90% of workers report that they would be willing to make less money if they were able to do more meaningful work. In this article, we’ll explore in greater depth why finding a meaningful job is so important.

The Importance of Finding a Meaningful Job

In today’s society, many of us spend the majority of our waking hours working. With so much time dedicated to our careers, it’s no wonder that finding a meaningful job has become such an important goal for many people. A meaningful job is one that provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment, beyond just a paycheck. Here are some of the reasons why meaningful jobs are becoming more essential for workers:

  • A Sense of Purpose and Improved Self-Esteem – First and foremost, a meaningful job gives us a sense of purpose. When we feel like we’re making a meaningful contribution to society, it gives us a reason to get up in the morning and tackle the day ahead. We feel like we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves, and that our work is helping to make the world a better place. This sense of purpose can be incredibly motivating, and it can help us stay focused and productive even when the work gets tough. A meaningful job can also boost our self-esteem. When we’re doing work that we find meaningful, we feel like we’re good at something and that we’re making a valuable contribution to the world. This can help us feel more confident in ourselves and our abilities, which can have a positive impact on other areas of our lives as well.
  • Connection and Belonging – A meaningful job can also help us build a sense of community and connection with others. When we’re working toward a shared goal that we all believe in, we’re more likely to feel a sense of camaraderie and teamwork with our colleagues instead of being disconnected and shut off. This can help us build strong relationships and social connections, which are important for our overall well-being. In fact, studies have shown that social connections are one of the strongest predictors of happiness and life satisfaction.
  • Improved Well-Being – As we just touched on, a meaningful job can improve our overall well-being in numerous ways. Research has shown that people who find their work meaningful report higher levels of job satisfaction, better physical and mental health, and lower rates of burnout. When we feel like our work is important and meaningful, we’re more likely to feel fulfilled and satisfied with our lives as a whole. This can have a ripple effect on our relationships, hobbies, health, and other areas of our lives, leading to an overall sense of happiness and contentment.
  • Develop New Skills – Moreover, a meaningful job can help us develop new skills and experiences that can be valuable throughout our lives. When we’re engaged in work that we find meaningful, we’re more likely to be motivated to learn and grow in our careers. This can lead to new opportunities for advancement, as well as personal growth and development. Whether we’re learning new technical skills, developing leadership abilities, or gaining valuable experience in a particular industry, a meaningful job can help us build a strong foundation for our future careers.
  • Make a Difference in the World – Finally, a meaningful job can also help us make a positive impact on the world around us. Similar to feeling a sense of purpose, when we’re working towards a meaningful goal, we have the potential to make a real difference in the lives of others. Whether we’re working in healthcare, education, social services, or any other field, our work can have a profound impact on the people we serve. Knowing that we’re making a difference in the world can be incredibly rewarding and can give us a sense of purpose and meaning that extends beyond our own lives.

While finding a meaningful job may not always be easy, it’s worth the effort to pursue work that truly resonates with our values and passions. By doing so, we can build a career that brings us fulfillment, happiness, and a sense of purpose.

If you’re looking for a meaningful job that doesn’t require a college degree, consider a career in healthcare by becoming a direct support professional! At Penn-Mar Human Services, our mission is to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live courageous lives full of self-determination, independence, and equity. Our approach is innovative, person-centered, and successful. Through meaningful employment, community inclusion, and residential choice, the people Penn-Mar supports are empowered to live their best lives. 

If you’re interested in a career in healthcare and want to make a difference in the lives of others, consider filling out an application to join our team! We offer a wide range of employee benefits and competitive compensation. You can also get involved by learning more about our services or signing up to volunteer with us today!

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