FYI Blog

Finding Meaning in Your Work

Avalon Staff Sitting in Conf. Room

I love my job. Every day, I feel good about what I do, because we are helping nonprofits make a positive impact on the world. It’s what drives me and gives my work, and my life, meaning.

Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton recently spoke at the DMAW annual meeting about the high premium people place on job satisfaction and finding meaningful work. He highlighted survey results that show that Millennials want a job with real meaning.

Don’t we all?

Unfortunately, new grads must often settle for some job — ANY job — just to pay the rent. With the role of work changing from a means to an end (do the work, get a paycheck) to a vital part of one’s identity (I am what I do), many find their first jobs unrewarding and unfulfilling.

It doesn’t have to be that way. The work we do in our industry to help nonprofits achieve their missions for a better world can be so rewarding and fulfilling. Bright, hard-working young people just need to find entry-level jobs in nonprofit fundraising to see for themselves.

As Clifton said in an interview about his findings, “Gallup defines a good job as one with 30+ hours of work a week with a consistent paycheck from an employer. A great job is a job in which you believe your boss cares about your development, you can use your strengths every day at work, and you believe your work makes a contribution to something. So your job matters and, subsequently, your life matters.”

His definition of a great job is also the basis for our corporate culture here at Avalon. We make every effort to make our jobs and our work inclusive, collaborative, flexible — and meaningful. And as our own company changes and grows, and its unique culture continues to evolve, it’s become more important than ever to remember the vital work we do that drives us every day.

It’s time to ramp up our outreach and broadcast this message to new graduates and twentysomethings: Working in our fundraising sector (both at nonprofits and at organizations like Avalon that support their great work) will provide endless satisfaction and personal fulfillment. And there is such a wide variety of jobs!

As a fundraising community, we do important and meaningful work. Let’s get the word out and invite more people to join us!