Do You Find Your Work Meaningful?

Why should we be engaged in our work? Because it makes us happy. It also makes us and our employers more successful.  Ryan Scott, technology entrepreneur and founder of Causecast asserts that being “engaged means feeling passion for your job and a corresponding feeling of commitment.” Engaged employees are driven to look for meaning in their work and strive for a legacy of achievement. As a result, they feel good about their jobs, which also improves their overall quality of life.

Unfortunately, assessing the degree of inspiration and commitment you feel in relation to your work or profession can be difficult, whether you are already employed or looking for a job. The good news is that the Gallup Organization has taken steps to help.

Over the last 25 years, they interviewed over 80,000 managers in 400 companies, which resulted in an in-depth study  detailing what talented people need from their place of work. They also condensed the info into a helpful list of questions that can help identify what employees are looking for from their supervisors and managers [see below].

The questions can be used during job interviews, because they will help you assess whether you will find working for a potential employer meaningful.

The Gallup “Q12“:

1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?

2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?

5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?

8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?

9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?

10. Do I have a best friend at work?

11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?

12. This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

If you are already employed, think about using the questions to determine whether your current position is inspiring you to strive for a legacy of achievement. The answers can then help you and your employer explore what can be done to increase your job satisfaction.


Vic has a passion for working with students and professionals who are preparing to establish careers on a global stage. He has extensive experience in leadership, career and organizational development in both the public and private sectors. Currently, he is a career counselor and adjunct associate professor for the University of Minnesota Law School, where he provides career path, job search strategy, and life-work balance counseling for law students, alumni, and foreign-trained attorneys. He is also principal of Cygnus 360, a career development consultancy that helps career counselors, career services offices, and clients with their career needs which include creating their brands using social networking tools and other technology. Vic is currently serving on the board for the National Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP). He is a former board member for the Minnesota Career Development Association (MCDA), past president of the Minnesota Legal Career Professionals City Group, and former director of learning for the Minnesota Organization Development Network.  You can follow Vic at Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

Related posts:

  1. Find the Right Person, Ask the Right Questions
  2. Finding Work Is Just a Matter of Work
  3. Using the Internet to Find the Perfect Job

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