It’s Not All About Money: Building a Meaningful Career


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If you’re scared you’ll end up pursuing a completely unsatisfactory and life-draining career, don’t worry. Millennials are already changing the business landscape in search of more meaningful jobs at companies that nurture great values.

There are many preconceptions about choosing the right career, but one thing is certain — you can’t go wrong if you follow your gut.

It’s Not All About Money: Building a Meaningful Career

Money is great, but ask any stressed-out, high-earning adult if they’re happy, and the answer will probably be negative.

So how do you start building a meaningful career?

A High-Paying Job Is Not Necessarily a Good Job

As the title of this article stipulates, it’s not all about money. Many young adults fall into the trap of opting for a higher-paid job that is ten times more stressful than the other option. Choosing a job based solely on the salary is a recipe for disaster.

Of course, if you’re able to find an opening for a position you really like and the compensation package is great, that is no reason not to take it. However, money should be only one factor to consider while looking for a job.

Don’t be afraid to start in a position that has a lower salary if it can help you work toward your goals and desires.

Think About What ‘Meaningful’ Means to You

While for some, having a meaningful career means doing something they’re good at, for others, it’s about helping the community or having a long-term mission. In other words, “meaningful” means many different things to different people.

Think long and hard about what this means to you. What would you like in a job? Would you like to bring your skills to perfection, let your creativity run free, lead a team of people, build a legacy?

Of course, you may not even know what you want right now, and that’s okay. In time, you’ll experiment and see what you like and dislike.

Don’t Let Fear Drive You

If you want a career you’ll enjoy deeply and whole-heartedly, you mustn’t let fear get in the way. Starting out is hard, and in the beginning, it may seem like your goals and desires are unattainable.

People who stumble on this first step tend to stay at a job they hate just because they’re afraid of pursuing their dreams. So it’s perfectly okay to switch jobs frequently, especially in the beginning. Why would you settle for something that doesn’t suit you?

What’s more, with different jobs, you gain invaluable experience that you can later use to your advantage. You may decide to start your own online business, for example, and thanks to your colorful experience, you’ll be able to compare different practices and choose the ones that work for you.

As many as 74% of younger employees would accept a pay cut in exchange for their ideal job. This number shows it’s much more important to do what you like than earn a lot of money.

Surround Yourself With Supportive People

A surefire way to get into the wrong career is to listen to everything people tell you about yourself. Your family’s and friend’s own fears and limitations, as well as their concern for you, may lead them to discourage you from pursuing your passion.

This is something creative types often experience — art is not lucrative, so why not choose something more profitable, such as economics? The answer is simple: because it wouldn’t be meaningful work for you.

So try to surround yourself with supportive people who will believe in you and cheer you on. Moreover, show your family how serious you are in pursuing your dream career. They may not even be aware of the many job opportunities in your area of interest.

Don’t Overthink It

In the words of Nike — just do it! You’re not sure if you should take that job? Do it. Should you apply for that course you’re interested in? Absolutely. Should you listen to your intuition? Always!

The point is, you’ll never know how anything will turn out unless you try it. Even if you’re not 100% sure you’ll love a job, go for it and see what happens.

On the other hand, you may be absolutely convinced that you’ll love a job and end up completely disappointed by the end of your first week.

What we’re trying to say is that you can’t think your way through to your ideal job. You need to be active and seize your opportunities. Even when you’re stuck and don’t know which path to take, the best way to unblock yourself is to take action. By being active, you unlock opportunities you might not have been aware of before.

Don’t Give Up When It’s Tough

Ultimately, you need to build resilience. No matter which path you choose, you’ll have ups and downs. This is especially true when you’re trying to build a meaningful career on your own terms. The important thing is not to give up.


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