How to build a meaningful career

From little things, big things grow.

From little things, big things grow.

A higher purpose is what often guides successful people through their careers. They keep a bigger picture in mind through the highs and lows.

You may be wondering, how can someone work towards selfish pursuits while creating value for others in a business? While jobs in agribusiness are significant and are known to pay relatively well, there are very tough and sometimes lonely times in it – especially if you live remotely.

Finding meaning in your work is essential to keep you on track. We’ve listed three definitions of meaningful work – different ways you can have a sense of purpose to get you through each day. It isn’t always obvious things like salary, title, or company reputation. Read each one to see which  is the driver for meaning in your career.

This is about the concrete outcomes of your work. The impact you’ve made that’ll shape the way people do things even after your time. How have you changed or improved the industry? Have you changed the way farmers protect their crops, implemented a humane way to deal with pests, introduced technology to investigate possibilities in GMO? Some people may want to create art that tells the stories of Australian farmers, and others want to improve international trade relations with south-east Asia. Your impact will depend on how close to the frontline you want to be when it comes to shaping your sector of the industry. 

Mastery is about choosing something to specialise in and being the best at it. It is when you choose to hone your strengths and interests in order to become an expert in an area. For it to be meaningful to you, the key is that you are using your strengths with a sense of purpose – being good at it isn’t the only thing that counts. Do you find it easy to connect with different people? Perhaps you could become a top Sales Representative – so good that you run workshops and courses for others. Have a keen eye for detail? Apply your analytical skills to solve problems within businesses – helping to make them bigger and better. Whatever it is for you, you’ll need a level of expertise that is far greater than most people in your speciality. 

Alignment is about how salary, benefits, and flexibility combined can give you the lifestyle you want. It is what you and the business you work for find mutual beneficial: position, culture, values and work-life balance. What they can offer you is the means that you use to live the life you want. There are two things you need to be clear on to work towards alignment. You need to know what you want from life, then identify what kinds of jobs will help you do that. Some people may be willing to take on extra responsibility at work so they can buy a house and take holidays. Others may want the freedom to be able to work anywhere in the world and take on risks as a freelancer to do so. To achieve alignment with your career decisions, try making a list of what you want your life to look like then research what types of jobs and employment agreements will help you be able to do that.

Of course by choosing a path and trialling it for awhile, you may find it’s not what you want from your career. It’s ok to change your mind. You may even need a little help to figure it all out. Try seeking advice from someone you trust, or reach out to a career professional to help place you where you need to be.