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Cal Newport
“No one owns you a great career. You need to earn it—and the process won’t be easy.”

CAL NEWPORT

@laylag14

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Meaning in Life
  • Many of us struggle with finding meaning, as we are busy with our daily work and distractions.
  • Meaning in life provides us with the purpose of getting up daily, energized and pepped up about the day, being productive in whatever we do.
  • Meaningful lives lead to happiness.
Meaningful Work

21–35% of our life is spent at work, making it a crucial part of our lives to spend at something we find meaning in.

Meaningful work should be:

  • Motivating and purposeful.
  • Should be coherent and make some sense.
  • Should be significant.
Connected with a Purpose

Meaningful work is when we feel a genuine connection with what we do for a living and our larger spectrum of life.

It is motivating, creates deep relationships and helps others.

The Two Myths

... about meaningful work:

  • Going after happiness gives you meaning.
  • Following your passion guarantees meaningful work.

To build a meaningful career, identify work that has these ingredients:

  • It's engaging
  • It helps others
  • You're good at it
  • It has supportive people
  • Has no major negatives
  • You can do it the rest of your life

Then you can do a self-assessment, asking yourself what your interests are, what motivates you, what are your skill sets and method of working, etc.

Show your Work

Simply sharing and showcasing what you are working on, by going public, sharing what you love, can attract like-minded people to you.

Creating Meaning Now
  • Job crafting: A technique to make your current job more meaningful
  • Task crafting: Doing a different kind of work in your existing job, to learn and expand your capability.
  • Relational crafting: Making deeper relations at work.
  • Cognitive crafting: A shift in thinking about your role, and what it means.
Review your Work

Conduct regular reviews (weekly, monthly and annually) to check if your work aligns with your values.

Finding meaningful work is a long-term process and it helps to get both the micro and macro views.

Create Space

Create space for deep and high-impact work by planning in advance a distraction-free schedule.

Plan ahead and ensure there are no interruptions during the time you do deep work.

The Most Important Thing
Do your most important, or high-impact work in the first 60 to 90 minutes of your day.
By giving priority to meaningful work during the day, you eventually give it a priority in your life.
Small Wins Matter

Keep an eye for the small victories, the small steps that are taking you towards your bigger goal.

Celebrate the small wins because they take you closer to your desired career.

Be a Different Person

Allow yourself to behave differently occasionally, and be out of character if required.

In the course of making massive changes, you may start being a different person. Embrace that change, as it is in pursuit of something meaningful.

Lack of Meaning at Work

Managers in many workplaces are a cause of lack of meaning when they:

  1. Create differences between personal and official values
  2. Do not appreciate employees
  3. Give them pointless work
  4. Treat them unfairly
  5. Disempower them
  6. Play Divide and Rule
  7. Create potential unsafe situations for employees.

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RELATED IDEAS

Being In Awe

Awe-inspired people feel a diminished sense of their own importance compared to others, and they abandon the conceit, which many of us have, that they are the center of the world. 

There are experiences that provide that feeling of just how big and amazing life is. Going out in nature is one of them. 

4

IDEAS

Keep it short and simple—just focus on what gets you out the door every day. 

Your mantra should encompass who you are, where you want to go, and the impact you want to make during your 9-to-5. 

Being in Control

Being your own boss is one of the main factors of finding meaning in your work. It makes you more invested and allows real innovation.

  • You can ask for some flexibility in your work and build trust.
  • You can start a personal side project where you are in full control
  • You can redefine your work, and delve into areas you are passionate about.