But, sometimes, it’s just not the right time. Maybe you are the main breadwinner and you can’t afford to make a move right now.
Other times you have things going on in your life that require your FULL focus.
- You are caring for an elderly parent
- Your kids are young
- Your spouse is only working half-time
I’m not suggesting that you can’t create meaningful work during these times. Some people do. It’s just that these things can make it more difficult for you to put your quest of creating meaningful work first. You have other priorities.
So, maybe it’s not the right time to create meaningful work. Maybe you feel you just can’t risk it, focus on it, do it.
But, even during those times, you can still do something to move you forward.
You can create the time and space in your thinking to dream. To ponder. To wonder. To reach. To start thinking seriously about what meaningful work means to you and what it could look like in your world. Clarity is key to success.
The first step to create meaningful work is to get clear in your own thinking about what meaningful work is, what it means to you and what it is for you.
So, give yourself the time and space to dream about what this work could be. Even if you can’t take action now to bring it to fruition.
At night before you go to sleep.
When you are driving in the car.
Instead of watching TV.
When you are working out, walking, swimming…
Do this for you.
I hear from clients all the time who tell me that they just don’t have the bandwidth to create meaningful work. Or that they want to begin but it’s not the right time. Make it the right time by doing the thinking now. You’ll be much closer to figuring it all out when the time is right. Take steps now. It will feel good because you know that you are making progress towards your goal of fulfilling, satisfying work. Those steps begin by clearing space in your mind to think about meaningful work.
Keep this question in the back of your mind:
“What does meaningful work mean to me and what kind of work would I want to do that has meaning?”
You’ll want to write down your thoughts.
Keep a journal, pen and paper, your phone, tablet, whatever. I like to carry around a stack of post-it notes and write down ideas that come to me. Because ideas come to me in the weirdest places (in the swimming pool, in the shower (what is it about water?), in the car, when I’m walking and running. I actually carry these tools with me sometimes when I’m out walking so that I can capture my ideas. Or use your phone recorder. Just keep track of the flow of ideas. Write them down. Capture them.
Here are some more questions to help you get clear:
- What are you really good at? (lots of dangling participles in this list!)
- What do you love doing? What types of things do you do where you get “in the zone” and lose track of time?
- What have you done in the past that you are proud of? What are your accomplishments? Who could you do these things for and why would it matter to them?
- What matters to you?
- What do you believe in?
- Where have you made a difference?
- What kinds of things excite you?
- What would you like to learn?
- What would you like to work on?
- What would you like to create? What ideas do you have?
- Do you have a way of seeing the world that you would like to share with others?
- How would you like to work? On your own? With others? On a team? A combination of these?
- Who would you like to work with?
- Who would you like to become?
- What would you like to be known for?