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Part 3: Reflection of past and present experience
It is hard to accept the fact that life is full of twists and turns and one has to go through many hardships as well. In life, both good and bad times could be found. I never forget to visit my past and sometimes, I do think about the old time, when I used to work at a call center. During that I was earning good money. Though I was making good money besides keeping my family happy, but still many times, I used to feel that something was missing. I remember, soon after completing my studies, I was looking for ways to earn money. Many things used to go on my mind regarding my career but veritably, life never goes as per one’s plan. I was convinced with the idea that sometimes, in life one has to go against his/her own plans. One has to wait for the right time to come for doing what one wants to achieve in life (Cashman,et,al,2017). In the present, everyone knows what they want to do in life and where they are going to. In my case, since long back I knew what I wanted to achieve for having a successful life. Like others, I was also well aware that what opportunities I have to avail, but at the same time, I never denied this fact that people work not only for achieving what they wish for. Sometimes, they had to choose a career for earning living. Undoubtedly, I knew which career I had to opt for turning my dreams into reality.
A few years back when I completed my degree, I was looking for some good opportunities so that I could do something practical for having a successful life, but at that time things did not go according to my plans. At that time, I was just looking for any job so that I could support my family and earn them a good lifestyle (McKenna,et,al,2015). I was offered a job at call center and after considering a lot, I accepted that job. Being a sensible person, I realized that it was the need of the hour to accept that job. Though I was not satisfied with that job, I started working in a call center. I started working at a lower rank in that call center, but I knew there are various reasons to opt this career that was not going to give me benefit in long run and only money become the greatest motivation at that time.
One thing quite clear in my mind was I had to gain something from this job. Certainly, it was not an ideal job for me, but I started it with dedication and put all my efforts so that in return, I could gain maximum out of it. With the advancement of time, I got promoted. Everything was going very well in the call center, but most of the time, I used to think where my life was going, and it was not what I wanted. On the other hand, I calm myself down by analyzing the whole situation practically. I grew a lot professionally and earned much money, and then there came a time when my growth ceased at the call center. I started getting frustrated with that job. I was waiting for a better opportunity and a miracle happened and I was offered with a job in an international NGO.
At the NGO, I was offered a teaching job. I always wished to have a career where I would be having chance to improve myself. Teaching is a career that gives people a chance to add more into their knowledge. At present, I am working as a teacher and serving many people who have quest for knowledge with all what I have (Raja,et,al,2014). I made a good decision of quitting the call center job on right time. I was earning good money at the call center, but I always wanted to have a kind of job in which besides earning money, I could serve the humanity as well. Currently I am teaching hundreds of students and learning from them many new things on daily basis. I always wanted to have both things in my life material goods as well as personal satisfaction. I think, it is the right and responsibility of every individual to take advantage of opportunities that he/she got. I was also waiting for some good opportunities so that I could see myself achieving the heights of success for which I was struggling. At present while working as a teacher, I feel more contented as I believe one must not think of his/her own benefit rather sometimes serving others gives us the mental peace that is hard to find at present.
Another major thing that I learnt is, when I was working in call center I took that job as a career so I was not enjoying, but now as I considered my present job as a calling, I enjoy every moment while performing my duty as teacher (Zhang,et,al,2017). Call center job was a career for me that used to make me tired. I was becoming emotionally as well as physically weak while working at call center but presently working as a teacher, I feel that my productivity increased many times as I enjoy this job which for me, is a calling not a career. I am putting extra efforts for achieving the set goals. I could feel a sort of connection with the present job as in the previous job all the time, I used to think that I had to work passionately for earning money and coming at the top, but currently working as a teacher I feel an emotional bonding with my job for which I become more careful. Serving as a teacher, makes me feel that now my life is going on the right track.
Part 4: Your vision for meaningful work
People who understand the broader purpose of their job are more likely being happy, and engaged to their work. Their creativity is higher than those who work only for money or career. At the organizational level it is beneficial because the loyal and satisfied employees see how their roles fit with the goals of the organization, resulting raise in productivity and decline in staff turnover intention. Meaningful work refers to the job which has a sense of satisfaction and purpose, while its impacts on the wellbeing of the employees are reflected. It makes an employee delight, excited, and healthier both mentally and physically. The employees at meaningful work have a strong psychological contract with the organization, and they are willing to cover extra miles for the organization. They are feeling higher perceived organizational support, and higher organization citizenship behavior. Employees are more satisfied and show positive attitude toward their jobs and organization. A workplace is the environment where an employee is developed. People consume time in workplace with a surety of safety and security, to get food and shelter, safeguarding children, and personal protection. When these tasks and requirements are fulfilled they bedrock the operations of their workplace. At some organizations there is an exploitation of employees because of higher unemployment level they do not fulfill the basic necessities of life of their staff.
In the 19th and early 20th century when the industrial revolution was at its peak, people moved to urban areas to get jobs in large industries. The rapid development in technology led employers to the division of labours. This procedure results in a complex and specialized role in the organization, such as accounting, sales, production, research and development etc. It emerged many professions, with a vast knowledge and experience; these different professions were then converted into specialized departments. Employees then got a proper education and trainings regarding their specific roles and tasks. Later on academia and industry underwent a proper research and provided sufficient literature through theory and practices. Academia is providing skilled employees to the industry according to the choices of employees (Wilding,et,al,2019). Currently employees are facing some rapidly growing issues such as work life balance, stress, workplace deviance, burnout, and certain health issues. Workers are facing many unavoidable problems influenced by the neoliberal market reforms, such as the uncertain economic growth, downsizing of employees, and job loss. While facing such worst macro-economic conditions, there are less chances of getting good jobs with desired fringe benefits like long term employment, career growth, job security, retirement and succession plan. In the job market there are many jobs which are temporary, short term, and itinerant, so these jobs are not ideal for employees and not considered as the meaningful jobs.
Importance of meaningful work
Meaningful work is essential because the employees are considered to be the authors of their own lives, and they are the drivers of their own careers. It provides a sense of purpose to the employees, and become a team player. It also creates alignment, accountability, motivation, autonomy, engagement, and well-being. Here we will discuss these achievements in detail
It means that employees should understand how they can utilize and enhance their contribution to the organization and to the society. Meaningfulness is the congruence or a sense making. It offers a procedure to the mankind to balance their skills and abilities with the requirements and expectations of job and employers. Moreover, it provides a balance and equilibrium between the life inside the organization and the life outside organization. There is a strong impact of both these environments on each other, so work life balance has grabbed the attention of top management team of the organizations. A better life at home and in society can enhance the capacity, skills, and productivity of an employee at the organization.
Meaningful job provides a sense and culture of accountability at both the individual and organizational level. Accountability increases positive outcomes at job such as organizational citizenship behavior, job engagement, and psychological contract, meanwhile it reduces certain negative outcomes such as organizational politics, workplace deviance, and burnout. Meaningful work is an ideal work which balances our dream of better future with the reality of the organization. Self-accountability refers to the sense of responsibility and self-motivation of an employee to align his goals and achievements with the goals of the organization. A high level accountability produces a proactive behavior in employees, so that the employee is planning and executing their plan before the deadlines and before any opportunity is taken away by others. Accountability at organizational level is the measurement of productivity and performance of a unit, department, or organization as a whole. The performance of an individual is a contribution to the achievement of the organizational goals and objectives.
A person who finds a meaningful work is self-determined, and passionate about the job. Motivation doesn’t come with good salary or other monetary benefits for a long time. There are some extrinsic benefits which are essential for motivating an employee. These benefits could be learning, career growth, recognition, power, authority, job enlargement, job rotation and so on. Motivation is a kind of fuel for human, and it is essential for employers to use all their resources to boost motivation of its employees. According to the researches motivation can fulfill three basic needs of the employees which are resulted in self-determined behavior. These three fundamental needs are autonomy, competence, and relatedness or belongingness. Autonomy usually provides a sense of free choice to the employees to choose their career path, and authorize the employees to show their creativity, and do their tasks with freedom. Competence is an ability and sense of an employee to accept challenges and struggle for the organization to achieve new mile stones (Rice,et,al,2018). In a meaningful job a person is always ready to accept new challenges because of learning and interests. Finally motivation also covers relatedness, which means that in the meaningful work employees have shared values and beliefs. Researches have proved that employees having meaningful jobs yield higher level of performance.
Meaningful work is interconnected with engagement; the calling at job is deeply associated with job engagement. We can also call it intertwined terms. Engagement is an attitude of the employees in which the meanings describe the significance of work of an employee. Engagement results in the job enrichment and job enlargement. Work as calling has demonstrated higher level of satisfaction, meaning is found as a predictor for job engagement. The lack of meaning has resulted higher level of absenteeism among the employees.
Work as calling or meaningful work can produce a sense of trust and employees perceive that organization is taking care of their wellbeing. The employees are taking care of stakes of the organization in return, and they cover extra miles for the organization. They protect the rights of the organization, and defend the organization at any level. The meaningful work also improves the well-being of employees who views their work as a calling, and their citizenship behavior is increased at greater extent. The employees are trying to help new entrants, and the culture of cooperation is promoted within the organization.
Steps for turning vision into reality
Researches have shown that satisfaction and purpose on job greatly influences overall well-being of people and makes them healthier, happier and more engaged in their work. Following are the steps by following which one would be feeling motivated and inspired:
Figure out what drives you
One of the main pitfalls for developing a meaning career is inability to define what exactly meaningful career means to you. One must take a look at things that pushes him/her to do that job. People must think what their means to them, a job, a calling or a career. They must always consider whether they enjoy their responsibilities or just take them as burden.
Open up the possibilities
One must take a look at changing things if he/she is not enjoying activities or the responsibilities. One must look for the new possibilities despite looking at what he/she has been doing. One must give him a pat for getting what he/she really wants. People must think about various industries and companies, who could offer them a perfect job.
Marshal your resources
While searching for a new job, focus on how you are going to use the skills that you have learnt from the previous job. Consider how you are going to make best use of transferable skills. Try to find an answer to the question that who you are? What skills you can polish more effectively for making a visible difference in your next job? One must focus on qualities that new colleagues and manager would be noticing. Look at the roles that you could play at their best.
Create your plan of action
After planning carefully, it is the time for you to take some action. Keep in mind that you are not running after an opportunity rather you are narrowing down towards your career goal for which you are going to work. Keep in consideration your vision, set your ultimate goal and think about steps that you could take to reach there.
Cashman, K. (2017). Leadership from the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for Life. Bellet-Koehler, 3rd Edition.
McKenna, R. B.; Matson, J.; Haney, D. M.; Becker, O.; Hickory, M. J.; Ecker, D. L. & Boyd, N.(2015). Calling, the Caller, and Being Called: A Qualitative Study of Transcendent Calling.Journal of Psychology & Christianity Vol. 34 Issue 4, p294-303. 10p
Raja, J. D., & Bhasin, S. K. (2014). Health issues amongst call center employees, an emerging occupational group in India. Indian journal of community medicine: official publication of Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine, 39(3), 175.
Rice, M., (2018). Is Your Work a Job, a Career, or a Calling? Retrieved from: https://curiosity.com/topics/is-your-work-a-job-a-career-or-a-calling-curiosity/
Wilding, M., (2019). Do You Have a Job, Career or Calling? The Difference Matters. Retrieved from: HYPERLINK "https://www.forbes.com/sites/melodywilding/2018/04/23/do-you-have-a-job-career-or-calling-the-difference-matters/#73364445632a" https://www.forbes.com/sites/melodywilding/2018/04/23/do-you-have-a-job-career-or-calling-the-difference-matters/#73364445632a
Zhang, C., Hirshi, A., Hermann, A.,Wei, J. & Zhang, J. (2017). The Future Work Self and Calling: The Mediational Role of Life Meaning. Journal of Happiness Studies, 18(4), pp. 977-991
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