Transforming education starts with knowing “your meaningful work…”
At four different times in my life, I asked the question, “What should I do with my life?” One of those times occured when I was an undergraduate college student. I remember the days of trying to decide on a major; however, it was hard because I had no direction, no purpose, no plan, or no legitimate reason for attending college, other than I had to go. My parents had their ideas, believing that college was the next step on the path to success. Elementary school, middle school, high school, college, job, family, retirement, death. Yep, that’s the path of life that was laid out in front of me.
My last MAJOR life challenge was in 2007, when burnout (and an ill-fitted job) forced me to make a decision about my future. The question, “What should I do with my life?” came back and reared its ugly head again. This time, I decided to write out my ideal job, how I would be engaged, and the type of environment where I could thrive. To make a long story short, after writing that down, three days later my current position was posted and I started the position less than 4 months later. I wake up every morning, helping people write the next chapter of their story by finding their path in life. It’s the kind of transformational work where I get to be my BEST self every day!
My story isn’t much different than many of the students who start their college journey. Many of them struggle to find the answer to “What should I do with my life?” Fortunately, I have been able to take my experience as a student and as a professional and create a process to help them (amd hopefully you) identify meaningful work. That meaningful work where you take your values, your gifts and talents, and your passions to idenfiy how you will meet the needs of the world. So, why is knowing “Your Meaningful Work” imporant? Because knowing (and living) your meaningful work allows you to share your gifts with the world, make a positive contribution to others, and helps you become a better person.
Let your meaningful work help you create a college (and life) experience that matters!
So, if you were given an opportunity to transform your work and/or take it to another level, what would you do? Don’t know? During the week of July 20th, I will share five activities that have been used to help students, faculty, staff, entrepreneurs, and a host of others to identify their meaningful work.
These activities have helped most students either: (1) identify the major that they want to pursue, or (2) reaffirm that they are in the right major – in their first semester! They have also been used to help professionals either: (1) identify potential work that matters, or (2) reaffirm that they are in the right position. Bottom line – these activites answer the question “What should I do with my life?”
Each day during the week of July 20th, you will be provided with an exercise to determine “Your Meaningful Work,” as follows:
Monday, July 20 – Values (What’s important to me?)
Tuesday, July 21 – Talents and Gifts (What am I good at AND like to do?)
Wednesday, July 22 – Interests (What gets me excited?)
Thursday, July 23 – Audience (Who do I want to help?)
On the last day – Friday, July 24 – you will have all of the pieces to construct “Your Meaningful Work” Statement. You will be provided a template to construct your meaningful work statement – or you can just create a statement on your own. The statement can then be used for you and your students to decide on a major, identify potential extra-curricular activities, decide on a graduate school program, even create a side-business.
My only request is that if you plan to share this, please give credit where credit it due. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me (Bill Johnson) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-207-6795. See you on Monday, June 20 to start the path on finding “Your Meaningful Work!”