The headline above comes from a Fortune Magazine article about women and their struggles to find meaning in the corporate world, but most of the issues facing women apply to men as well.
The study was done by Yankelovich Partners and involved 300 executive women. The findings:
- One-third of the women said they were bored.
- One-third frequently experienced depression.
- The majority said they didn’t have a personal life.
- Forty percent said they felt trapped.
- Eighty-seven percent said they had made — or were seriously considering making — a major change in their lives.
While personal issues were a factor in the mid-life crises of these executives, the article clearly points out that much of their dissatisfaction stemmed from reactions to work. The article debunked some of the “old thinking” about these work-related issues:
- Motherhood had little relation to the frustrations the women were feeling. Women with children and women without children felt the same way.
- The glass ceiling talked about for so many years was also not a factor. Seventy percent of these women expected major career advances within the next five years.
Some of the comments from the women interviewed for the article:
- “This is a far richer and more diverse issue than can be classified under the glass ceiling or work/family umbrella. It is driven by the array of creative choices available to people who reinvent themselves.”
- “We need a little redefinition of work and success and what all that means.”
- “The message of the day is that change is possible. You don’t have to get it right the first time.”
These women are clearly struggling with the problems which The Highlands Whole Person Approach was built to solve: meaning in life is crucially important, but it is a complex and multi-faceted issue. While “meaning” does not lend itself to easy answers, it can be attained.
The Value of Values at Work
At The Highlands Company, we talk about meaning. When we feel that our lives and career are meaningful, we feel more alive. We approach life with enthusiasm instead of resignation. What constitutes meaning is different for each and every person. And it changes as we grow older. Sooner or later, though, all of us confront the question, “Is what I am doing worth doing?”
Most of us feel that figuring out our innermost values and matching them to our careers are extras in life. Nice, but not critical to personal success. The truth is just the opposite.
We can all figure out what’s truly important in our lives. The sense that there is something large and meaningful to work towards, whatever that may be, can be transforming. It can make any job feel worth doing.
Want to uncover what would give your work meaning? Find a Highlands Certified Consultant near you.