Engineering your career - finding work that matters


woman in front on pcInternational Women in Engineering Day (INWED) raises the profile of women in engineering and celebrates the outstanding achievements of female engineers throughout the world. Each year INWED focuses on a theme, with this year celebrating ‘Engineering Heroes’.  There is a common theme in all of the contributions, examples, and stories of 2021’s female Engineering Heroes, and a real sense of purpose and pride of being part of something that impacts the world and solves societal challenges.

“Engineers have played a significant role in responding to the pandemic. At the same time, the extraordinary public health crisis has brought into sharp focus how they deliver and maintain critical services and infrastructure, keep civic society functioning at every level, and support lives and wellbeing” (Women in Engineering, 2021).

This article explores finding career purpose and doing something meaningful and impactful that truly fits in line with your values.

Finding your Career Purpose

This sense of ‘purpose’ is something that has been a topical subject for a number of professionals, especially post pandemic. The last year has heightened the way individuals feel about their career purpose and that sense of connection and ‘giving back’ in their roles.

“Crises lead many people to find deep value in their jobs, develop professionally, and grow personally. To make the greatest impact at our jobs — and feel the greatest satisfaction — we need to tap into work’s deeper meaning” (Harvard).

Research reports on an increasing number of people reassessing their career ‘purpose’. Three-fifths of people surveyed would like to make a change and an increasing number of people would like to have a role that has a social purpose. This could include a role that is contributing to worthwhile cause, working for a company that has a strong corporate social purpose or doing something where the role or company has a positive influence on either the environment or wider society.

For job seekers or professionals far from the frontline, the pandemic has sparked a “career change revolution”.  Like our ‘Engineering Heroes’, how do we go about finding our career purpose and doing something meaningful and impactful that truly fits in line with our values?

Understanding your Career Purpose

Career purpose has mixed definitions and can mean many things to different people. A career purpose is essentially your career mission and your sense of meaning in your role. It’s what you want to achieve and how success looks for you. It integrates with who you are, what you do and it all leads to the impact you want to make in your professional career.

⁠Having meaning in your career and understanding how your role impacts the company is a big factor in making you feel energised and more productive in your career.  People who understand their strategic purpose are happier and more engaged. When you understand your career purpose you can set more tangible and achievable career goals and make decisions easier. It can help you map out a career plan that is in line with your values and motivations or even help you identify organisations that share a similar sense of purpose or company goals.

6 questions to help you evaluate your own career purpose and find work that matters

Conduct some self-analysis and brainstorm your interests, values, skills, and preferred work style. Understanding these factors will help you connect the dots around the types of careers that will be the most meaningful to you and align with your skills and values.

Ask yourself…

Renovo is the UK’s leading outplacement and career transition specialist. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email

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