Work that matters

Tom Simpson
February 19, 2024
1 min read
1 min read

Does it matter?

This week I’ve been fixed on the idea of work that matters.

What does it mean to do work that matters?

Does it matter that we do work that matters?

I’ve pondered that question for my own life, and for others as I’ve worked with them to bring guidance to their businesses.

Where do we orientate our efforts and why?

This topic can often bring a sense of illusive uncertainty that causes people to switch off.

But if you find it hard to wrap your head around, then these thoughts might be for you.

Let's take a moment to declutter the idea and be constructive about how we approach it.

And while there’s no hard edges when it comes to answering the question, there are some helpful starting places.

To do work that matters is:

To be specific about who we’re helping and what we’re offering; orienting our work as a contribution to others.

To deliver on the commitment we’ve made even when we don’t feel like it, because that’s what it means to be professional.

To understand that sometimes in order to do work that makes a difference, we need to do things differently, and that takes the courage to try things that might not work. This doesn’t have to be a complete reinvention because even a 2 degree shift can make a big difference.

To use the constraints of our situation as a starting place for solving problems and learning because that is the essence of creativity.

To take the pressure off finding work we love because instead we can commit to loving the work we’ve chosen to do, and in that find engagement and satisfaction. And if what we do changes, we can love that too (credit).

To keep up the inner work of developing empathy, resilience, and patience as we face challenges.

Consider your work.

How are you engaging with what’s already there.

The constraints, the tasks at hand, the commitments you’ve made, the skills you’ve developed along the way, the people you’re helping.

It’s possible that your work that matters is firmly placed in the context of your career. It’s possible that it reaches beyond those bounds. Perhaps it’s both.

Sometimes a self inquiry is all that’s needed to recognise you’re already doing work that matters.

Or maybe there’s a slight shift to take place in orienting towards work that fulfils a sense of purpose and contribution.

Either way, it’s likely that the work that matters is at your finger tips.

And when we learn to identify why it matters, we can strengthen the clarity and surety in which we pursue it.

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