Meaningful and engaging work is the key to a profitable business. When people feel their work is meaningful the end result is a more productive office with a satisfied and fulfilled workforce. What do I mean by meaningful and engaging work? Here is a story to illustrate:

There once was a traveler who journeyed all over the globe in search of wisdom and enlightenment. In the midst of one village, he came upon a great deal of noise, dust, and commotion.

He approached the nearest laborer and asked, "Excuse me; I'm not from this village. May I ask what's going on here?" The laborer replied curtly, "Can't you see? I'm busting rocks. It's unpleasant dirty work but it's a job."

The traveler approached a second laborer who was doing the same thing and seemed intent on the work and asked the same question. The second laborer replied, "Can't you see? I'm earning a living to support my family."

The traveler then approached a third laborer who was also breaking up rocks and posed the question a third time. With a broad smile and a gleam in his eye, the third laborer replied with great pride: "Can't you see? We're building a cathedral."

Clearly the last laborer was engaged in his work. It became meaningful to him because he had a larger purpose.

How do you find meaningful work for yourself? What is it that would make a job engaging and fulfilling for you?

The easy answer is money. Does money motivate you? It may for some people but for others once they have what they consider "enough" money, then money no longer motivates them. The second laborer in the story was doing the work intently but not really engaged or fulfilled by it. Earning a living to support his family was his motivation.

So how do you find what engages you? One place to start is with your values. Values are ideas or activities that are most important to you.

Clearly for the second laborer family was most important to him. If family is an important value for you, then ask yourself a second question, "What do you get from family." The answer might be love, connection, security or support. Each of those is what would be called the end value. Family is the means to that end value.

The second laborer might have had an end value of security. He wanted to insure his family's and his own security by providing enough money for life's essentials i.e. food, clothing, shelter etc. He is working from his values.

From the story we can see that the third laborer valued building. Instead of viewing his work as "busting rocks" he saw it through his value of building something. Equally important his mission or purpose was to build a cathedral. Using your values and having a mission or purpose are the two keys to finding meaningful work.

Sometimes a good boss is able to link your work to your values and purpose. Most often however it is up to the employee to see the connections. Even a job that seems just tolerable can be made more meaningful by finding a way to use your values in doing it and linking it to a purpose or mission that you are committed to. Knowing your own values and purpose is important. It will help you to find meaningful and engaging work.

Author's Bio: 

Alvah Parker is a Practice Advisor (The Attorneys’ Coach) and a Career Changers’ Coach as well as publisher of Parker’s Points, an email tip list and Road to Success, an ezine. Subscribe now to these free monthly publications at her website Parker’s Value Program© enables her clients to find their own way to work that is more fulfilling and profitable. Her clients are attorneys and people in transition who want to find work that is in line with their own life purpose. Alvah is found on the web at She may also be reached at 781-598-0388 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              781-598-0388      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              781-598-0388      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.