What does your work mean to you?

Money?  Security?  Freedom?  Personal development?  We find that we need different things from our work at different stages of our career and our lives.  A disconnect between what we want from work and what we are actually getting can be one of the reasons we end up feeling unhappy or unfulfilled. 

A great question to ask yourself is to think about what your job, work or career means to you, or what it gives you.

To help you with your thinking, here are 20 people’s answers to this question – gathered through my Social Media channels and my Career in the Spotlight blog posts. (I may have also sneaked myself in there too)! ……

Honestly, it pays for my holidays, weekends, hobbies, living. If I won the lottery I wouldn’t go to work. My work would be voluntary work.  (Anna, HR)

Earning a living, independence, using my skills to contribute, satisfaction when I learn or achieve something (and frustration when I don’t), social interaction (Julie, 63, most recent job Research Assistant, Archaeological Science)

It means a steady secure job to support my family. Not too stressful and provides job satisfaction. Comfy. (Jenny, 36, Product Marketing Manager)

Challenging but rewarding (James, Implementation Consultant)

I guess the first need it satisfies is my desire to be part of something that is helping make the world a better place. My role has enabled me to learn more about myself and develop others, an important value for me. It also puts me in contact with out supporters and I get to utilise and hone my people skills. (Jason, 42, Supporter Care Manager for a charity)

A lifestyle choice (Jonnie, 37, Tour Guide)

It gives me a lot of satisfaction because I am helping people feel better and I like that feeling that it gives me (Jo, Holistic Stress Therapist)

It’s my source of self-expression and fulfilment (Natalia, 33, Style Coach)

Earning money, being interested, meeting people, being more than just a “mum”, being able to leave the house, challenging myself but in a positive way (Amy, Networking Coordinator)

Exploration, personal development, an expression of me, a creative project, a chance to meet lots of interesting people (Jane, 36, artist and career coach)

Work means to me helping others solve their weight loss and health struggles that I use to struggle with when working in the corporate world (Anne, 44, Weight Loss Expert)

Satisfaction, enjoyment, challenge, occasionally it’s a pain, but only occasionally (Matt, 41, Creative Noise Maker Maker)

Proving myself, stability, respect, using my talents (Dan, 41, Architectural Visualiser)

Very fulfilling. I feel I can do something that makes a difference and feel a real sense of satisfaction.  (Helen, 35, Charity Director)

Feeling content and rewarded, feeling thankful, creating innovative solutions for my clients, offering great customer service and job satisfaction and ultimately client satisfaction (Jo, Director)

Friends and challenges (anonymous, Consultant)

It needs to be enjoyable but is only a means to earn money to finance other activity (Amanda, Executive Coach)

It has until now meant the world but since a bad incident with husband last year (reacted badly during routine surgery – fine now but shook us all up) now it is about enjoying work and maintaining work life balance. (Sarah, Director / Virtual assistant business and online facilitator)

Interesting, motivating, but a means to an end (Louise, Networking Associate – WIBN)

I get that sense of satisfaction that I have pursued something I love (Scott, 48, Director of a dance school)

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Did answering this question make you realise there is a disconnect between where you are now and where you want to be with your work or career? If so, coaching could help you – why not visit my website to find out more about the career coaching I offer and how I could help you.

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