Making sense of work: finding meaning in work narratives

This study examined how individuals make sense of their work narratives – autobiographical stories about their work lives – and the implications for individual well-being

Kimberly S. Scott

2019

Key concepts

Scholarcy highlights

  • This study examined how individuals make sense of their work narratives – autobiographical stories about their work lives – and the implications for individual well-being
  • Survey responses and narrative themes from life story interviews were collected from 119 adults
  • Results show that people made sense of their work lives most often by constructing themes about personal agency
  • The findings support prior research suggesting that socioeconomic factors, access to resources, and working conditions increase the likelihood of finding and benefiting from meaningful work
  • For individuals wishing to find meaning in their work, job design characteristics, and developing a sense of agency can be levers for fostering meaning and well-being

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