Many people struggle with finding, creating and doing work that feels important.
Trapped in a job, stuck in a life situation or simply being overwhelmed by everything that could be possible…
Taking a next step might many times feel impossible.
This guide is a resource with some of the best content for inspiration and guidance on the topic.
It aims to inspire, motivate and guide you through your questions regarding what it means to be doing work that is important to you.
Resources will be added continuously; so please bookmark this page!
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: What Does it Mean to do Work That Matters?
- Chapter 2: This is Where You Start (Self-Awareness)
- Chapter 3: What is truly important to you?
- Chapter 4: Purpose vs. Passion (vs. happiness!)
- Chapter 5: Creating the Habit to Explore
- Chapter 6: What it Boils Down to (Who are you serving?)
- Chapter 7: How ‘Showing Up’ Changes the Odds of Success Dramatically
Chapter 1: What does it mean to do work that matters?
Research shows that 70% of all people in the US are not engaged or even actively disengaged with their work. What would the world look like if most people were engaged with what they were doing?
Doing work that is important ripples. Not only into your own well-being and those around you, but to the world.
- Meaningful Work For Everyone: The 3 Conditions that Lead To Your Best Work: Buffer
- The Simple Question that Makes You Question Everything: ConsciousCareerist
- Die Empty: Todd Henry
- What it Means to do Meaningful Work: Paul Jarvis
- The Importance of Meaningful Work: MIT Sloan Review
- Make Time For The Work That Matters: Harvard Business Review
“Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Chapter 2: This is Where You Start
A self-analysis of your current situation and your current you is essential start to exploring the what is important to you. Let’s deep-dive into the area of self-awareness.
- 5 Ways to Become More Self-Aware: Harvard Business Review
- 20 Questions to Know Yourself Better And Unlock the Immsense Potential Within: Dumb Little Man
- 7 Steps to Increase Self-Awareness and Catapult Your Career: Forbes
- The Right Way to Get to Know Yourself: Psychology Today
- A Simple Tool To Know If You are in the Right Job: ConsciousCareerist
- The Importance of Self-Awareness: LifeHacker
“All of us need to begin to think in terms of our own inner strengths, our resilience and resourcefulness, our capacity to adapt and to rely upon ourselves and our families.” – Steven Pressfield
Chapter 3: What is truly important to you?
Figuring out what is important to you is crucial in finding work that matters. When you know what matters to you; decisions become much easier to make and live by.
More specifically; building on inherent strengths and a deep understanding of values makes it clear what you care about. And what you should spend your time doing.
Deep-dive into this section to look at your strengths and values.
- Strengths Finder 2.0: Gallup
- Focus on What You Are Good at and Nothing Else :Neil Patel, Quick Sprout
- First Step: Know Who You Are: ConsciousCareerist
- How to Find Out What You’re Good at: Jon Acuff / Business Insider
- Know Your Strengths. Own Your Strengths. No One Else Will.:LeanIn.org
- Living Your Values, Part 1: Steve Pavlina
- Living Your Values, Part 2: Steve Pavlina
Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses. – Marilyn vos Savant
Chapter 4: Purpose vs. Passion (vs. Happiness!)
“While being happy is about feeling good, meaning is derived from contributing to others or to society in a bigger way.”
Is this true? Happiness is important and worth pursuing, and an interesting concept to contrast with passion and purpose.
What is it really that makes work meaningful?
- How to Find Meaning During Your Pursuit of Happiness at Work: Fast Company
- Meaning is Healthier Than Happiness: The Atlantic
- Is a Happy Life Different from a Meaningful Life?: Greater Good / Berkeley
- Flight of the Hummingbird – The Curiosity Driven Life: Elizabeth Gilbert
“It’s the ultimate luxury to combine passion and contribution. It’s also a very clear path to happiness.” – Sheryl Sandberg
Chapter 5: Creating the Habit to Explore
Trying out new habits, exploring new avenues, doing something for the very first time… Exploring is a key component in understanding and developing what is important to us.
What are you exploring at the moment?
- How Sparking New Conversations Can Ignite Change In Your Career: BrazenLife
- A Simple Productivity Tool: Todd Henry
- The Most Satisfying Job in the World?: Ideas at Ted.com
- Make Time for The Work That Matters: Harvard Business Review
- A Beginner’s Guide to Trying New Things: Tiny Buddha
“Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty.” – Brian Greene
Chapter 6: What it Boils Down to (Who Are You Serving?)
We all know how good it feels to give someone a gift or to help someone in need. When we get too focused on our own situation, shortcomings or ambitions, it is easy to get too deep into your own feelings. Focusing on others is a great tool and the key to contributing at large in this world.
How are you contributing to society? To the world?
- You Must Use Your Unique Gifts to Serve the World: MindBodyGreen
- Contribute to the Greater Good by Taking These 3 Initiatives: Entrepreneur.com
- On the Future of Work: ConsciousCareerist
- Contributing Through Your Career: Steve Pavlina
- The Easiest Way to Live a Short, Unimportant Life: James Clear
”The only work that will ultimately bring any good to any of us is the work of contributing to the healing of the world.”- Marianne Williamson
Chapter 7: How ‘Showing Up’ Changes The Odds of Success Dramatically
What does it mean to show up? It means making that extra effort, trying one more time. It’s the extra umph that is needed to spark change. It is what separates an experience from a super memorable experience.
- The First Rule of Doing Work That Matters: Seth Godin
- 6 Ways a Leader Should Show Up: Entrepreneur.com
- Just Show Up: Becoming a Minimalist
- Your Life is a Hot Date. Show Up.: Alexandra Franzen
- No more excuses!: Huffington Post
“Eighty percent of success is showing up” – Woody Allen
Hope you found ‘The Ultimate Guide to Doing Work That Matters’ useful!