At my last job, I made a lot of PowerPoint presentations. And I mean a lot. My team and I spent the majority of our days putting together monthly, quarterly, and mid-year reports for our clients. The monthly ones were the most tedious, as we used seven different systems to gather all the data we needed.

But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was that we knew (at least) some clients never even looked at the reports. Not even a glance—that email probably went right to “Trash.” And this is probably a large part of why I ended up putting in my two weeks’ notice.

Yes, I knew my team and others in the organization valued me as a co-worker and human being. But I truly didn’t believe the work I did had any real meaning. And that’s pretty crucial to productivity and job satisfaction.

In this episode,“The Meaning of Work”, of the TED Radio Hour podcast, host Guy Raz explores the importance of finding meaning in your work and what it means to different people. You don’t need to be solving world hunger or curing cancer (although if you are—awesome—we need you!). But you do need to feel like what you’re doing matters, even in the slightest of ways.


Photo of person thinking courtesy of Milton Brown/Getty Images.