It is important to find what work means to you. When you know what work means to you, you have more reason to work towards achieving your career goals and taking care of yourself in terms of work. Having a good understanding of what work means to you will help you maintain good personal and career wellbeing.
According to Harpaz et al (2003), the meaning of work is “determined by the choices and experiences of the individual and by the organisational and environmental context in which he/she works and lives”. However, each person has his or her way of defining the meaning of work. Finding what work means to you is important because it has a positive effect on your wellbeing.
The meaning of work is influenced by both internal and external factors. The internal factors of the meaning of work refer to how you view work. For example, the kinds of challenges you enjoy solving or what you love to do. External factors that influence the meaning of work could be family, where an individual may find meaning if the work they pursue pays them enough to take care of their family. Another external factor is influence from friends where an individual may set goals according to what they wish to achieve with friends. These internal and external factors can help you come up with your definition of the meaning of work.
For an individual to experience the meaning of work there are different angles that one should look at which are Societal Norms, Work Centrality and Work goals.
Societal norms are divided into Entitlement and Obligation, where Entitlement is the underlying rights of individuals and the work relate responsibilities by society and organisations to call individuals. In this space, a person looks at where they stand in the organisation and what they do. The psychological contract comes into play as the person has to know that they need to do, when it should be done and how they will do it to fulfil their job. Obligation represents the duties of all individuals to the organisation. In the obligation norm, an individual may feel that it is necessary to be committed and also what the individual may bring to the organisation.
Work centrality refers to the degree of general importance that working has in one's life at a given time. To see that there is more work centrality in the job, involvement, satisfaction and job tenure needs to be seen as jobs are as important as a family to some individuals.
Looking at the above-mentioned angles can help you form a clear understanding of what work means to you. It is important to understand what work means to you because it is of great help when looking at your career wellbeing. Take the time to understand what career wellbeing is as well. The two go hand in hand.
Career wellbeing is an integral element of any occupation. According to Greenhaus and Powell (2006), career wellbeing is a situation where an employee reaches a high level of job satisfaction and enjoyment. This comes because of an organisation putting structures in place to enhance employee growth and wellbeing, thus motivating the employee and motivating him/her to work to the best of his/her ability. As an employee, there is no need to depend solely on your employer to attain career wellbeing, however, it is important to help yourself feel good about the work you do.
Occupational wellbeing has various elements such as achieving a good balance between work like and leisure, the maintenance of positive relationships with colleagues, managing any work-related stress and the safety of the work environment. Strong occupational wellbeing results in you being happier, healthier and more successful. Be aware that career includes roles like volunteer work, school and house chores.
The importance of career wellbeing
Your work takes up a lot of your time, and so it is important to maintain overall wellbeing and like whatever it is you do. Enjoying the work you do gives a greater sense of purpose and meaning. For an employer, employee wellbeing is also important because it is one of the key factors that determine organisational effectiveness. This highlights the fact that employee wellbeing is a two-way dynamic, as it requires cooperation from both the employee and the organisation as well.
Organisational Strategies and Tactics
Below, are a few strategies and tactics that your organisation can use to boost employee wellbeing.
As an organisation, you can create and make use of disability policies. This will help remove any disability bias and deal with the ergonomics of your organisation. For example, if you have a physically disabled employee, perhaps one with a prosthetic leg, it would be wise to give him work activities that will not require him to go up and down a staircase too often or walk around a lot. If possible, you could even install an elevator or an escalator to help any of the physically disabled employees in the organisation. It may help create an inclusive and positive workspace, which in turn boosts employee wellbeing. It will make your employees feel taken care of and result in them working better.
Additionally, your organisation can make use of yearly or bi-yearly training programs. This will help keep your organisational standards at par with any economic, social or technological changes. This initiative, coupled with mentorship programs can help boost employee wellbeing. Through training and developing employees, you can make them feel cared for in terms of their personal and professional growth.
Make it happen for yourself
Career wellbeing is closely linked to your attitude about your work. It incorporates the personal satisfaction and enrichment you get from your career. So, here are some tips to make it happen for yourself.
Find yourself a job that offers you some enjoyment. You spend a large amount of your time working and so it is important to find work that challenges you. This is advantageous because challenges in your work give you an opportunity for growth. Challenges help you cultivate compassion and gratitude as well as clarifies your passion and what it is you truly want. Attaining your work challenges will result in satisfaction and thus better wellbeing.
Another way of improving career wellbeing is to find something you like about the work you do. Everyone has some aspects of their work they dislike, but it important that you focus on at least one positive aspect of your work. This can help you handle any work-related stress more effectively and help you maintain better wellbeing.
When work makes you happy and excites you, it becomes easier to maintain a good career wellbeing. When you know what work means to you, it gives you better insight in terms of what jobs to pursue. Take care of yourself by finding work that best suits you and your need. Your career wellbeing is important but so is your wellbeing. Work plays a big part in your life. Do what makes you happy.
Sifiso Dingani is a Talent Management Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm. Phone +263 4 481946-48/ 481950/ 2900276/ 2900966 or cell number +26377 551 7211 or email [email protected] or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com
View Sifiso Dingani's full profile