Some Thoughts on Meaningful Work, Responsiveness, and Impact
Plus a survey asking if you find meaning and impact in your work.
A few days ago I read‘s thoughtful article on responsiveness, impact, and what makes for a fulfilling job versus one that will lead to inevitable burnout and despair. If you haven’t read it yet, you should.
It turns out, we humans crave responsiveness — a way to show that we have impact and influence in our world, that there’s a purpose to our lives. We want to know that our actions will matter, even if it’s only to a small, local degree. When someone feels like they have no impact, no control, or purpose, they can quickly fall into despair and ask themselves “what’s the point?” Viktor Frankl observed in Man’s Search for Meaning “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
Emmett Shear describes this phenomena in the context of pointless, no-impact work as the phenomena of “broken steering”:
Broken steering is a metaphor for that feeling at work where your actions seem to have no impact. Turn the wheel, car still goes straight. This is …