Nov 8, 2010

Making Work Meaningful

Zappos freebie packageImage by Larry Tomlinson via FlickrLots of people think that unless you are pursuing your passions you are wasting your life. However they never stop to explain that pursuing your passions is not enough to be successful. Pursuing your passions needs a lot of skills that being an entrepreneur calls for - like reframing skills, discovering or creating a market, and marketing and sales skills.

No wonder many of us don't choose the freelance or entrepreneurial route. And in cases like mine, choose it, explore it, and head back to the corporate world, which for all its imperfections enables you to do one thing and do that well.

If that is the case, why are so many of us unhappy at work?

Well the reasons are as varied as there are employees, and depends on what we expect from our jobs. Is it the need for achievement or affiliation or power as McClelland postulated?

Personally I think every human being wants to be part of something larger than himself or herself. An organization should look at goals that excite even the most world weary cynic and say "I am part of something meaningful. Something larger. Something beautiful"

I think it was Umair Haque who wrote that things that excite human beings like meaning, sense, love, beauty and passion are deliberately stripped and removed from the modern corporate in the single minded pursuit of profit without "purpose and passion"

Look at the workplace near you? Do you hire human beings or "human resources" or "human capital" or "talent" ? What we (and I am guilty as charged too) all try to do is seek conformance of people - hoping they just get their brains or hands to work and keep those pesky emotions away.

Unfortunately, unless you want to emotionally passionately change the world - you cannot see meaning in boring power points and excel sheets.

Until then corporate work for the majority of people will continue to be boring and drab unless you can start to see meaning in your own work and make sense and inject it with beauty and passion.

Have you done so? Are you an artist amongst plodders?

Tell me your story.
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