Big Questions and Small Actions for Your Journey to Meaningful Work


You know that exhilarating feeling. You’re meeting new people that are doing fascinating work. You’re learning and absorbing all this information that’s sending sparks through your brain. You attend events where you’re constantly nodding, knowing that what they’re saying is meant for you. You even get that paid contract with the client that values you!

That’s been the past two weeks for me and, trust me, it’s been fantastic. But I’m still trying to process, digest, and synthesize it all.

My brain is flooded with so many thoughts that when I sit down to write it turns into a brain dump of random thoughts. And then I do it again.

So how can I make this meaningful for you? Well, I’m going to give my best shot at sharing, and hopefully inspiring you to action.

The Big Picture

Vinay Nair, an investment banker and now Head of International Business Development at Acumen, provided three thoughts on how to help you start your journey to meaningful work.

1. Understand your push and pull factors (the WHY)

What are the deep reasons that you’re both pushing and being pulled? Knowing and communicating these will add depth to your purpose and you can talk around the tensions to have a more memorable story.

2. Set your values as intention (the HOW)

Based on Acumen’s manifesto, guiding your work with credibility, humility, audacity, integrity, and especially empathy will create more authenticity, commitment, and purpose.

3. There is no linear path (the WHAT)

There is no natural way to get from point A to B. It’s about the journey and finding the arc to your story that ties in your points along the way–especially those unexpected turns!

Some Small Actions

Charly Cox, an entrepreneur, fundraiser, photojournalist, writer, and now coach, and Telisha Morris, who’s currently shifting her career, both offered up a few attainable tactics to start exploring your options.

1. Ask 10 of your friends, family, and/or colleagues about your strengths and blind spots. They may see something in you that you are missing!

2. Ask people for 15 minutes of their time to find out about what they do.

3. Tell people where you want to go and ask them how to get there.

4. Ask for recommendations to other people to talk to, books to read, events to attend, and websites/twitter profiles to follow.

Combining these big thoughts with achievable actions will lead you towards the work you’ve been searching for. Now time to do it!

Take a leap and a ledge will show.

What are the big questions you ask yourself? Or some actions that help you on your journey? Share them below in the comments!

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Image source: Katie Crepeau, author

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