The Struggle to Find Meaning at Work

The Struggle to Find Meaning at Work

4 minute read

"...Your job is just one piece of the fabric of your life, but we sometimes take things too seriously since our work is so important and takes up so much time."

In the past, work was a means to an end. We did it to survive. Today, however, things are different. Many people believe their job should be their main source of purpose. The truth is, only a small percentage of us are truly engaged in our work. New technologies like AI are just adding to the existential angst as more and more jobs are replaced, bringing up complex questions about the role of work in our everyday lives.

We've been sold this idea that if we just find our passion, work won't feel like work at all. But the reality is, most jobs aren't inherently fulfilling. We end up burned out and disillusioned.

The Problem: Putting Too Much Pressure on Work

We expect our jobs to give us everything: purpose, passion, happiness. But this puts an unfair burden on work. It simply can't deliver on all those promises. In the same ways we fantasize love, friendship and other aspects of our lives, maturity helps us to realize that not everything has a fairy tale ending. But this harsh reality doesn’t mean we can’t find career happiness.

The answer? We need to stop relying solely on our careers for fulfillment.

Finding Fulfillment Outside the Office

The good news is, we have more control over our happiness than we think. It's time to take charge of our lives outside of work.

Focus on Intrinsic Rewards: Forget promotions and raises. True happiness comes from internal satisfaction, not external validation. 

Build a Life Beyond Work: Work through fatigue, and embark on hobbies and things outside of work and home that bring new experiences. 

Embrace Your Discretionary Time: We all have free time, even if it doesn't feel like it. Instead of spending hours mindlessly scrolling or watching TV, use that time to explore your passions.

This Doesn't Mean Staying in a Bad Job

If your job is causing you misery, it's okay to move on. But before you quit, consider if there are ways to find more meaning within your current role. A job is a delicate balancing act of salary, time, passion, and meaning. If just one of these factors isn’t satisfactory, don’t just give up, because a new job might lack something your current position has, but also do not be afraid to find work that opens up a more flexible lifestyle that consumes less time. 

Living a Fulfilling Life

Here are some tips for finding flow and purpose outside of work:

Memento Mori: Remember, you're not going to live forever. This might sound morbid, but it can be a powerful wake-up call. Mortality can kick us into reality, and let us see that things aren’t as bad as they, or maybe actually worse!

Take Ownership of Your Life: Stop sleepwalking through your days. Schedule time for activities that make you feel alive. Volunteer or help others, or just lend a helping hand to a friend in need.

Find Your Flow: Flow is that state of complete absorption in an activity. Maybe it's learning a new language, taking up a new hobby, or mastering a skill.


Work can be a part of a fulfilling life, but it shouldn't be the only source of meaning and happiness. Your job is just one piece of the fabric of your life, but we sometimes take things too seriously since our work is so important and takes up so much time. Compromise more than you should on less important matters, and be firm with those that truly matter. Take control of your free time, explore your passions, and remember, you have more Mondays left than you think. Make them count!

About HeyDevs

HeyDevs is a revolutionary new platform that empowers developers to take control of their careers, connect with other developers and find job opportunities that align with their goals and interests, without ever needing to apply for a single job! With HeyDevs, companies compete for you, not the other way around.

For developers, HeyDevs offers invaluable resources including our specialized swipe-to-work function, anonymous profile, CV builder, and customizable search criteria, with the ability to connect and chat with prospective employers completely on-site. 

For businesses, HeyDevs offers tools to maximize the recruitment process, saving time and money, with a talent pipeline that streamlines a majority of the hiring process directly on the platform, eliminating the need for recruiters or headhunters so the hiring process can be handled with HeyDevs as the only medium between employer and candidate, all powered by smart matching to ensure the most relevant matches are provided first. HeyDevs is a truly unbiased hiring platform, delivering a diverse pool of talent that hides information such as avatar, age, and gender, focusing solely on experience and skill, paving the way for a more inclusive workplace.

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