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How meaningful is your work?

2024.05.29


Periodically, it’s useful to check in and see if your work is still meaningful to you. With the hectic pace of life and evolving/expanding professional duties sometimes we don’t realize that we’ve drifted a bit too far off our own course.

Symptoms show up subtly at first and are easy to miss – perhaps feeling like there is more drudgery and tedium in our daily tasks than there once was, not feeling as much pride at the end of a project, or not feeling as strong of a connection to our “why”.

The Work as Meaning Inventory1 can give you a quick gut-check and help you determine if it’s time to make a change (within your current role, within your org, or looking beyond ) or if you’re currently in a good place.


Take the Quiz

Use this scale...
1 = Strongly Disagree 2 = Moderately Disagree 3 = Slightly Disagree 4 = Neutral 5 = Slightly Agree 6 = Moderately Agree 7 = Strongly Agree

...to to rate each of the following statements.

  1. I have found a meaningful career.
  2. I understand how my work contributes to my life’s meaning.
  3. I have a good sense of what makes my job meaningful.
  4. I have discovered work that has a satisfying purpose.
  5. I view my work as contributing to my personal growth
  6. My work helps me better understand myself.
  7. My work helps me make sense of the world around me.
  8. My work really makes no difference to the world.
  9. I know my work makes a positive difference in the world.
  10. The work I do serves a greater purpose.

Scoring

Number 8 needs to be reverse coded before you score. That is, if you rated it 1, change that to 7, a score of 2 becomes 6, etc.

Add up your total score. The higher the number, the more meaningful your work. There isn’t a hard and fast rule about what scores mean. Rather, this is useful to track over time to watch for dips.

More interesting than the score itself, is what insight you gleaned about yourself as you contemplated each of the statements.

Additional Notes

This inventory has three subscales as well. If you’re a coach and want to use this with clients, reach out and we’ll send you the details.


1Source: Steger, M.F., Dik, B.J., & Duffy, R.D. (2012). Measuring meaningful work: The Work as Meaning Inventory (WAMI). Journal of Career Assessment, 20, 322-337. doi: 10.1177/1069072711436160


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