Looking for Meaning in Your Work? Find a Career Coach may be the First Step

I found Joel to be extremely energetic and personable, caring deeply for the success of his clients. Inquisitive and detailed oriented, Joel leaves nothing to chance, asking probing questions to guide his clients to explore concepts they would have not thought of or addressed on their own. I personally have gain a great deal through my interaction with Joel and I am certain others will do so as well.

Adam Kaplan

Many of my clients are probably like you. They are desperately looking for meaning in their work. They’ve learned that to find a career coach can be the first step in their journey.

Contrary to popular belief, the reason for holding down a job isn’t to benefit from perks such as a positive “around the water cooler” atmosphere, mutually amicable co-workers, great benefits or even collecting a paycheck, but rather fulfilling your own definition of personal meaning through your work.


So, what is the textbook definition of personal meaning, you ask? Some of my clients are under the impression that it is a philosophy toward your chosen profession that you feel deeply in your heart. Others have further elaborated that personal meaning is a state-of-mind that makes your job more purposeful for you.

Short and sweet, I believe the best definition of personal meaning is “my job touches me as I touch it.” For example, as I coach others, I feel a great sense of fulfillment in the moment because I am being touched by something that my client does to better themselves because of an insight I shared with them that spurs them on to transformation or personal growth.

To further illustrate my definition, I’ll relay the following story. A man came upon two workers breaking granite so he stopped to ask them, “What are you doing?” The first one sarcastically replied, “What does it look like I’m doing? I’m trying to break this granite. While on the positive side, the second worker enthusiastically responded, “I’m part of a team of people who are building a beautiful cathedral.”

The morale of this concise parable is simple. We enjoy our working lives to the level we realize how important the work we are doing actually is to the big picture. While your job might be interesting, engaging and purposeful, the question to ask yourself is, “Does it bring personal meaning to who I am?” Personal meaning to one person could mean impacting the universe, or to another, quietly helping others behind the scenes.

When you find a career coach, it can help you answer this question, “What work would you do if it brought personal meaning to you?” In order to answer this question, you need to get a clear fix on the definition of what personal meaning means to you. This is the starting point I recommend each of us search from because until we come to love our jobs, nothing can make working a satisfying way of living.