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Last year, the website PayScale put together a terrific feature called “The Most and Least Meaningful Jobs.” Among those who helped to assemble the data was writer Jen Hubley Luckwaldt, and as she explains in a recent post for the site, the process taught her a valuable lesson: “There are an infinite number of paths to a job that really satisfies, and no two careers will look exactly alike, even if the worker in each case loves his or her job.”

With this in mind, Luckwaldt has created a list of “3 Tips for Building a Career with Meaning.” Read on to see how she defines meaning, and how she suggests you find it in your career.

1. Don’t Hold Yourself to Super High Standards — At various times in your life, you’ll take jobs out of sheer necessity. Maybe you need to make money, or you’re transitioning out of one field and into another. This might mean translate to work that feels inconsequential or frivolous, but as Luckwaldt explains, you shouldn’t “knock yourself down because you aren’t curing the common cold right this very minute.”

2. Figure Out Where Your Passions Lie — Some people live to work; others work to live. If you’re not someone who defines yourself by your career, Luckwaldt writes, realize that this is OK and move on. “If you like the people you work with, and your work is engaging and pays enough to live on, that might be enough,” she writes.

3. Whatever You Do, Learn Something! — No matter where you work, there are opportunities to learn new skills, become a better communicator, and generally make yourself more marketable in the future. Even if you hate your job, you’re getting a great lesson in what you don’t want out of your career, and as Luckwaldt points out, that’s valuable information.


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