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Finding and maintaining meaningful work can be difficult. It’s hard to get a job that pays the bills AND brings a deep sense of satisfaction. Sometimes, especially for young people, it can seem impossible. Where do you even start?

I heard a quote the other day that hit a chord with me. The basic idea was to find the intersection of your genius and the world’s need. Let’s look at each part of that equation.

First, find your genius. Your genius incorporates your gifts and talents. What are you naturally good at? What kinds of tasks come easy for you? What activities don’t feel like work to you? What pursuits do you get lost in, and lose track of time?

Second, what great need in the world tugs at your heart the most? There are so many problems and broken places in this world. Children don’t have enough to eat. Whole communities don’t have access to clean drinking water. Women and girls get sold into sexual slavery. People struggle with depression and consider suicide. Many kids and teenagers don’t have access to adequate education. And the list goes on. What area of need do you feel most passionate about? What problem keeps you up at night?

Finally, try to find the intersection of your genius and the world’s need. What is the overlap? If you can find a job or career at the intersection of your genius and the world’s need, you have a good shot at finding and maintaining meaningful work.

Discussion: How satisfied are you with your job? Do you feel as if your career taps into your genius and the world’s need?

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