Not everything we do at work is going to feel meaningful. But being able to find meaning in our work — and making the connection between what we do and why we do it — can make a real difference in our well-being. Being proud of your daily work, and of your company as a whole, can have incredible benefits for your work satisfaction, productivity, and happiness.
To find deeper satisfaction in your work and feel pride in what you do, here are three easy tips to try today.
1. Connect with your larger sense of purpose
We spend a lot of time at work. But if we never consider the larger purpose of our work, we’re missing an opportunity. According to research by McKinsey, employees who say that they “live their purpose at work” are healthier, more resilient, and more likely to go above and beyond in their work. But how do you find that purpose? It can be as simple as reflecting on the impact of what you’re doing. Try this Microstep: When you’re struggling with your work, think of a person who might benefit from it. When you step back and look at the larger picture, you’ll remind yourself of the purpose and meaning behind your work (for example, the customers you’re helping). You can also think of your personal purpose for working: your family, your career goals, or your life values. Whenever you’re feeling bogged down by work, bring this purpose to mind.
2. Celebrate your small wins
It might seem silly at first, but the next time you finish a project of any size, get praise from your boss, or feel good about a presentation, celebrate it! You can give yourself a pat on the back, thank yourself for giving it your all, or congratulate yourself out loud. Celebrating small wins can help us create a growth mindset, which focuses on our progress and learning rather than perfection. According to Carol Dweck, author of Mindset, those with a growth mindset feel a greater sense of purpose and meaning in their work.
3. Focus on — and acknowledge — your progress
Even if you’re not in a place right now where you can feel proud of your work, strive to get closer to that place each day. Set a small goal to work toward, and at the end of each day acknowledge one way that you improved or one thing that you accomplished on the way to that goal. Focusing on your positive growth will help you prioritize progress over perfection. You’ll also further cultivate that growth mindset, which will promote feelings of empowerment and help you achieve more at work.