Two women sitting at a table working

How to Find Meaning in Your Job

The job we’re paid to do can, at times, seem meaningless and monotonous. How can we find a lasting sense of purpose?

We wake up every weekday morning earlier than we’d like, dress in clothes we likely wouldn’t wear otherwise, and go to jobs we’d rather not do. Maybe we sit in rush hour traffic on the way there. Perhaps we play a little Tetris to pass the time. We wait until 5:00 p.m.—that golden, glorious hour that has become a symbol of freedom itself—and return home…only to do it all over again the next day.

"To work—honestly and productively—brings contentment and a sense of self-worth." —H. David Burton

Photo by Marten Bjork

With that abysmal picture painted in your mind, try to imagine moments of peace, growth, or meaning in your average workday. Quite the challenging game of I spy, isn’t it?

In his Liahona article “The Blessing of Work,” Bishop H. David Burton describes a very different scene. He writes, “To work—honestly and productively—brings contentment and a sense of self-worth.” And he characterizes these positive feelings as gifts from a loving God—one who has, in fact, commanded us to work. “As with any other commandment,” Bishop Burton continues, “there is joy in its keeping.”

This joy, he describes, comes from applying our talents in our jobs, learning new skills and principles, and helping those around us—and accepting their help in return. Though we may never be applauded by CEOs or by celebrity talk show hosts for our groundbreaking achievements, it is certainly within our power to earn the respect and admiration of our coworkers for our kindness and generosity.

Learn to see your job as an opportunity to follow God, to feel the blessings he promises, and to find one of his children in need of your help, and you’ll find meaning in every part of your daily grind—even in that terrible stretch of traffic.

Read Bishop H. David Burton’s article “The Blessing of Work” for further suggestions on and examples of how to make your job meaningful and excel at it in the process.

Source: Liahona

—Caroline Stickel, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

Read “When Hard Work Doesn’t Seem to Be Worth It” by Jonathan Jibson for information on how patience factors into the work we do.

Take a look at “The Joy of Honest Labor” by Elder L. Tom Perry, a talk on teaching children the value of hard work.

Read or watch President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s general conference talk “Providing in the Lord’s Way” to learn how your employment can bless the lives of others.

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