Your Work Matters

There are days when we’ll feel down and out about the work we’re doing. Maybe it’s feeling you’re ineffective. Your influence isn’t growing. Or no one is listening.

I know there’s days I feel like this. To be honest, it can feel like a losing battle. But I have a great message for you today.

Your work matters.

Spalsh of water

Image by Flavio

Really, it does. More than you’ll ever realize.

Through your leadership and work, you’re touching people others will never be able to reach. I can’t touch everyone. Neither can you.

Yet you can reach the people around you. And that matters.

Work That Mattered To Me

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Jeff Jones, the former drummer of Big Daddy Weave. He was able to share some of the great things he’s moving onto. To be honest, I’m excited for him and encourage you to check out what he’s doing.

Talking with him made me realize how much his work has mattered to thousands of people.

It also brought up the memories I had of my teenage and young adult years. Those days were filled with one concert after another.

To the bands, these shows were probably just another day on the road. To me and my friends, they meant more. Much more.

Each concert was a chance to connect with someone who was like me. Their lyrics touched our souls. Their presence gave us comfort.

Traveling in a band is tough. Band members give up so much to play to the crowd. Time with friends and family. Holidays. Birthdays. They miss most of these things.

There are days when the road seems to be cruel and not worth it.

But I want to say that their work mattered. Their concerts changed my life.

Your Work Matters

In much the same way, your work matters. People are waiting for your work to shine. Even if it’s behind a desk.

You have important work to do which will help move companies forward. Change lives forever. Maybe even save a life.

You’ll see many people come and go as a leader. Like seeds, there will be times you’ll see your influence impact a life right away. Unfortunately, many times of growth you’ll never see as the seed took longer to sprout.

I’ve seen this more times than I can count. Even when it looks like the lives of your tribe members are not being affected, they are. The influence needs time to marinate and come to the top.

This is a tough lesson to grasp. It’s taken me many years to realize how the bands I grew up watching affected my life. One day your tribe members will realize the same thing.

Do great work. Change people’s lives. You’ll do work that matters.

Question: Are you doing work that matters? What is it? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I had my development review with my manager yesterday.  It was a great review and he considers me a good leader for my team and the company.  I realized how much he depends on me.  We talked about some changes and I also realized how much my team depends on me.  My work definitely matters to him and them.

    • That has to be a confidence booster Larry! Congrats on the great review and realizing you’ve got people relying on you.

  • DS

    Living is work that matters if we take a big picture approach – even if we’re in a stage where everything seems to be going wrong.

    I try to impact others through encouraging words, classes, and speeches, as well as how I live. You really will change lives.

    • Excellent point DS. Life is work and we should make it matter.

  • Joe,

    I know I’m doing work that matters but it does not always feel that way. The true test comes when we are feeling that way but still endure forward. Great post and reminder. I really needed to read this today:)

    • Glad to have spoken a word you needed to hear Dan. It’s funny how the most important work often feels like the least important. But keep moving forward and you’ll reap the results!

  • I’m definitely doing work that matters.  The product we design and install is important, but it’s more than that.  It matters, because I get to rub shoulders with people every day – people who are far from God, people who need a positive influence in their lives.  Yes, my work matters!

    •  Awesome Jon! It’s always interesting to look at our work in different ways and see how it actually affects others. The fact you’re able to work on and influence those in positions you interact with is a perfect example of work that matters.

  • David

    I work in shipping and receiving for a company that manufactures metal furniture. So in the greater scheme of “eternal” things, I don’t imagine my work “matters” much. I don’t see my job changing someone “forever” or saving a life. I am after all, just a “working stiff” for a small manufacturing company. But my job is important to the man who signs my paycheck and sometimes that has to be good enough. I’m not in a position of “leadership” or of much “influence” per se, but my job is an integral part of delivering our product. That gets the owner paid which, in turn, gets me paid. So in that context, my work matters. But in the bigger context of eternal matters and life changing influence, not so much.

    •  David, that’s a wonderful outlook to have even if you feel the impact of the product doesn’t have an effect on someone and you’re just a working stiff. My friend, @kimanzi:disqus, knows all about that feeling.

  • I think you know my thoughts on this post 🙂 I wasn’t doing work that matters but am happy to report that now I am. Life is too short to be miserable in your job!

    • I do Kimanzi. You’re a living example of having work that matters.

  • I hope I am, Joe. I know teaching matters. I hope all the hours I put into writing will bless many others in the long run. My story is unique and one about forgiveness. I think everyone can learn from a story as such. Check out more about “A Train Called Forgiveness” at

    • Dan, if youth leadership and teaching those students have taught me anything, it’s that you’re touching the students lives more than you realize. Many will come and go until one day you bump into a former student and he shares how you’ve touched his life.

  • Joe,

    Thanks for the encouragement.  I am a powerful choleric/perfect melancholic personality type and the powerful choleric loves to see results ASAP.  In fact, I have been working months on an IT project and the seeds are just starting to sprout.  Needless to say I was getting frustrated.

    I also gave gotten frustrated when I don’t see the change I have helped affect in Soldiers/peoples lives.  Some have taken the time to tell me and I was grateful.  While with others the change was so great it was obvious.  In most cases (like with parents and their children) change does not happen overnight.  For me, I believe the key is consistency.  

    I get to mold America’s volunteer warriors throughout their careers.  Sometimes that means laughing with them, other times it is strictly business, still other times it means holding their hand through a life changing event.  So, yes My work matters!

    • TJ, you’ve really got work that matters. The molding of our soldiers is a heavy burden, I’m sure.

  • This is a great reminder that we do work that no one else could do for us – we have something unique to add that no one else can. We can make a difference today, even if in just one person’s life.

    • That we do Tom. What uniqueness are you adding?

      • I believe my combination of work and life experiences give me a perspective that allows me to help others with their careers in a unique way. Thanks!