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New Year, New Job Resolution? Read this before you start applying...

New Year, New Job Resolution? Read this before you start applying... 

If, like many people your new year's resolution is to find a new job, one where you finally are happy, where you are engaged and enjoying what you are doing, where you are truly appreciated for the work you's worth asking yourself if you may be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Might you be risking, once the honeymoon period of a new role is over, that the shine and glitz that you came across in the interview may not be quite the reality once you have settled in? 

Do not treat the symptom, diagnose the underlying illness 

Drawing on Beaumont People's world-first research, now with insights from over 7000 people, we know that meaningful work is so much more than just the job you are in. In fact, there are four factors of meaningful work; only one of which is your job. And there are many subsets within those factors. When you change jobs without looking at all the factors, and all the subsets, you are treating the symptoms, not diagnosing the underlying illness.   

Discovering the four factors 

Before you jump straight to changing jobs, you can be more confident it is the right action by understanding more about the four factors of meaningful work, and which of these are most important to you. In summary they are: 

1. Individual: 

At the individual level, meaningful work is defined by your inherent qualities of mind and character –that is your interests, abilities, and personality traits. It also encompasses your characteristic adaptations - personal concerns like motives, goals, and aspirations; along with personal narratives - the stories you tell yourself about your work.  

2. Job: 

On the job front, meaningful work finds its cues in the type, quality, and quantity of tasks. Job design also plays a pivotal part, including how the role has been crafted or tailored by the organisation or by you to create a sense of meaningfulness. 

3. Organisational: 

Organisational-level indicators of meaningful work consider your personal interpretation of leadership, the organisational culture, policies, practices, and the social ecosystem within the workplace. These elements collectively contribute to shaping the meaningfulness of the job. 

4. Societal: 

Societal influences extend their impact into meaningful work, driven by economic and social factors. Your access to decent work and its alignment with your cultural norms significantly contribute to your ability to attain meaning through your work. 


What does this mean for your next career move? 

Understanding the four factors of meaningful work and how they might apply to you will set you on your own unique path to career fulfillment. The research showed us that increased job satisfaction, greater career development, reduced work stress, and improved health and well-being are some of the positive outcomes associated with meaningful work. It is also good for your bosses. Engaged employees who find meaning in their work demonstrate higher commitment, lower turnover rates, and increased organisational performance, even during challenging times. 

Before you start applying for roles, dig a little deeper into these four factors so you can decide if you want to 

a) stay, but change something about where you are 

b) change jobs but stay in the same industry, or  

c) think about changing careers altogether.  

From there you can develop a plan of how to go about it based on the factors that are important to you and build out a plan of action that is much more likely to set you on a path to career fulfilment. Understanding the theory of meaningful work and taking the time to discover how it applies uniquely to you could be the best New Year's Resolution you will ever make.  

Oh, and if you do decide to still start applying – get to it, it is a great time to do so. According to Seek, on average, job ads jump by 21.8% in January. 

Nina Mapson Bone is the author of Meaningful Work: Unlock your unique path to career fulfilment. For more information visit:  



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