How to Find Meaning at Work

Topic(s): stress, wellness
Publication: Harvard Business Review
Article: 4 ways to make work more meaningful
Authors: J. Coleman
Reviewed by: Daisy Rowser-Grier

It is easy to have a mindless routine, especially at work. However, you could be missing out on finding true meaning and purpose. One recent Harvard Business Review article (Coleman, 2023) explains how being curious in the workplace is essential to discovering your work’s true essence. In his book HBR Guide to Crafting Your Purpose, the author reveals four ways you can build your work life to be more purposeful.

Craft your work 

The author invites you to bring more self-awareness to your work. Start by thinking about what you enjoy doing or what excites you about the job. Then, make sure your work involves more of your personality, humor, and the things that fascinate you. It also helps to reflect on the prominent people for whom you perform your duties – consider whether you can craft your work to benefit them as well.

Make work a craft

The author discusses the importance of intrinsic motivation – or doing things because they are rewarding and give you a sense of purpose. Try to get involved in tasks that challenge you and improve your skills. Conducting a self-evaluation could help you identify the areas where you can test your limits. This will help you take pride in your work and yourself.

Connect work to service 

Helping others in the community or at work could connect you to what matters. Recognizing the people we serve on the job requires some curiosity, but familiarizing ourselves with these people helps to bring purpose and value to the workplace.

Invest in positive relationships 

A paramount part of happiness is building positive relationships. Spending time with co-workers and getting to know them paves the way to making your workplace relationships more meaningful. Conversely, not connecting with co-workers dampens the mood in the workplace.


Being open and curious in the workplace can help employees flourish; it enables people to be human. Taking the time to self-reflect and ask more questions at work – while applying the four ingredients provided in the article – has the strength to make employees’ lives more fulfilling.


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