The everyday work grind can sometimes feel like, well, a bit of a grind. So, when your enthusiasm flags and every day feels as blah as the one that came before, how can you find ways to add meaning to your day, much less your life or career?
Share spaced, shared values
Even if your own zest for life seems to be lacking, sharing a work space with people who are on a similar mission might help buoy you up when you’d otherwise be bummed. “Working on something you believe in and surrounding yourself with people who share your values will always provide meaning and purpose to whatever you choose to do in life, especially when it comes to your career,” said Max Spielberg, co-founder and President of Genexa. In his own work life, Spielberg firmly believes “business should be used as a force for good and that’s what keeps us coming into work every day.”
Scare yourself a little
After almost a decade running an outdoor retailer in Canada, Jamie Clarke became frustrated at how inaccessible and expensive quality gear had become to the average consumer. Along with a partner, Clarke launched LiveOutThere.com, a direct-to-consumer outerwear brand. “Transforming our business into a direct-to-consumer offering was as much about sound business as it was about infusing more meaning into our work day at every level,” he said. “Our work is more urgent, more meaningful and more important now that we are responsible for the entire supplier chain. We dream up our products, manufacture them, and make them available to our customers. We own and are responsible for every step of the value chain. It’s scary, but I love it. We’ve never been more engaged or passionate about our mission than we are now.”
Have a big mission
Many businesses have internal and external marketing messages as well as a mission that guides their everyday path. As Clarke explained it “Everything comes back to our mission to: Get the World Outside. When we remember that people who spend time outside are happier, healthier and more creative and that our products and knowledge helps make this happen — challenges, setback, rejections all seem a little smaller because our mission is so big. So important.” For Clarke, it’s as much a vision and mission as a business: “This is not just about making money — it’s about saving and improving lives. When we remember this — nothing can stop us.”
Make someone happy
Sometimes finding your path toward a more meaningful career can take a circuitous trajectory. Melissa Ben-Ishay, founder, president and Chief Product officer of Baked by Melissa, started her booming business after being unexpectedly fired from her advertising job.
“I did not think I was being fired when I was called to HR over the loudspeaker. I actually thought I could have been up for a promotion! Needless to say, I was shocked” Ben-Ishay admitted. In the days after, she thought it was completely unjustified. “I regained confidence by surrounding myself with people who love and support me and working hard towards something I love and am super passionate about – Baked by Melissa.”
More than that, Ben-Ishay realized she could combine her career and her passion with an end result of adding joy to people’s lives. “I started baking cupcakes long before we started Baked By Melissa for that very reason — they make people happy! That’s why I kept baking them — giving cupcakes to someone and seeing their happiness is the very best feeling.”
And she turned that into the overall company ethos: “We know the most successful people are happy and passionate about what they are doing every day. We hire like-minded, hardworking, passionate people who love to get s–t done and that’s what makes our team so amazing.”