What's the Difference Between a Happy Job and a Meaningful One?

by Vault Careers | September 15, 2017

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emily esfahani smith

We often search for jobs and lives that will make us happy. However, research shows that meaningful work and life experiences are more desirable than ones that bring us happiness. In fact, meaning makes us feel less lonely, more content, and more engaged than happiness does.

Earlier this year, Emily Esfahani Smith, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal journalist and graduate of Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania, wrote a book about this very topic called The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters. She also gave a powerful TED Talk based on the research and findings that appear in her book.

Below, you'll find a clip of Smith speaking about her book at her alma mater Penn. Among other things, Smith outlines the four pillars of meaningful work and lives: 1) Purpose, 2) Belonging, 3) Transcendence, and 4) Storytelling. Smith's research (and talk) has the power to alter the way you look at your job and career, not to mention your life. Which is why we think it's well worth your time.

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Filed Under: Job Search | Workplace Issues

Tags: happiness | inspiration | meaning | ted talk | video

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