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The 4 Dimensions of Meaningful Work.

Updated: Feb 20, 2022

Struggling to find meaning in your work? Well, so did I.

I absolutely hated my last job.

Despite this, I stuck around for nearly three entire years. That was a significant amount of my life gone to waste.

Why did I stick around so long? Well, one of my readers I chat with on email shared the term "Golden Handcuffs". That's exactly what it was.

I'll be honest, the pay was pretty darn good and so were the benefits. We had great insurance and medical coverage, and more annual leave than I could count with my two hands and feet.

We even got bonus payouts that came round March every year. These ranged from three months and upwards. Yet, that only served to keep me even more locked in.

Each time I wanted to quit, I was blocked by the "rational" belief that I should at least wait till March came around. It seemed like the smart thing to do, right?

Not really, because the most rational thing I could have really done was to quit much, much earlier, and preserve the happiness of myself and my family.

There were many times in the course of the three years I contemplated quitting. Yet, beyond the fixation of waiting for my bonus, the over-arching mentality that stopped me in my tracks was:

"Who am I to complain? Why don't I just treat it as work like everyone else does. As long as I stay, my family would never have to worry about money. It would be stupid for me to quit."

Golden Handcuffs indeed.

As a trained Organisational Psychologist, I really should have known better.

There was a severe job misfit between the way the company operated and my intrinsic preferences, personality and values. For one, my company was highly bureaucratic. There were always several hurdles to go through even when you wanted something simple done.

For example, getting my interns or new hires access to the printer took at least a week to be processed.

I also worked on behav