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​Are you looking for a job that feels meaningful? You should be – research shows that meaningful work can make you more satisfied and engaged. There's a lot of value to feeling like what you do is worth more than just a pay check.

If you're wondering what sort of job you could do that is meaningful, you should look at building and construction labour. With Tradestaff, you can do work that gives back to your community and helps to make New Zealand a better place to live in.

Employees who find their work meaningful report higher job satisfaction and engagement.

Why is meaningful work so important?

In an article for Fast Company, strategy consultant Jessica Amortegui looks at the value of meaningful work, and argues that it benefits both employees and employers. She cites a study by engagement firm the Energy Project that found employees who consider their work meaningful report higher job satisfaction and engagement with their work. They also stay at their jobs longer before moving on to something else.

So work is better when it's meaningful, and you're better at it because of this. But what exactly makes a particular job meaningful?

Employees who feel like their work has meaning are more likely to be happy at their jobs longer.

Finding the meaning in construction: Giving people a place to call home

A Stanford University study on the distinction between meaningfulness and happiness came to the conclusion that while happiness is linked to what you take, meaningfulness is linked to what you give. The research categorised happiness as a shallow, self-involved goal, whereas meaningful work was connected with a sense of value and purpose, and making a positive contribution to society.

For job seekers who want to find work that has this value and positive contribution, the ongoing construction projects in Auckland and Christchurch are perfect opportunities. In both cases, the focus of the work is solving the housing and infrastructure problems that are making life hard for so many New Zealanders.

Happiness is linked to what you take, but meaningfulness is linked to what you give.

Auckland has been struggling with a housing crisis, with people unable to find somewhere to live as the city's population grows beyond its capacity. Construction work is ongoing to address the shortfall, and the New Zealand Herald reported that around 9,900 dwelling consents were issued last year. However, around 13,000 were needed to keep up with demand.

The situation has become so bad that in October last year the government announced that it would get involved in the housing market by building an extra 30,000 medium-density, medium-priced houses. The demand for construction in Auckland is high, whether government or privately-funded.

Following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, Christchurch has had a huge amount of construction work under way in the city and the surrounding area. Along with residential properties and commercial buildings this also includes infrastructure projects such as roading and storm water systems. Because of the scale of the rebuild, builders and labourers from outside the area have been brought in to help cover the demand, including construction workers and carpenters from overseas.

Satisfaction and meaning may become clear once a job is complete.

A study by Catherine Bailey and Adrian Madden, published in the MIT Sloan Management Review found that meaningfulness was often found at the end of a project rather than during it. To be able to look back on days, weeks or months of effort and see the results of all that labour is a powerful experience, and sometimes it isn't until every step of a project is completed that the value of it is visible.

Construction offers workers the ability to work on projects where the size and importance of their achievements are easy to see. You can go into a site that is just bare earth or ruined rubble, and by the time you and your team leave there is a new building ready for the community to use. This tangible achievement is part of what makes construction work so meaningful, and so satisfying to be a part of.

Meaningful work lets us relate as human beings, rather than just workers or employees.

Bailey and Madden also argue that meaningful work – work that gives rather than takes – lets us relate as human beings rather than just workers or employees – "reaching out in a bond of common humanity to others." This human bond is perfectly expressed by building houses for those who need a home, or helping to create the public common spaces that make a city into a community.

Tradestaff will help you find meaningful work in the construction industry

Tradestaff supplies workers to construction and infrastructure projects all across the country. We're heavily involved in the Canterbury rebuild, and supply workers to the Auckland construction market as well. We're always looking for new candidates for the many roles available in the industry, and have positions available for people with all levels of skill and experience.

Whether you're looking for temporary or permanent positions in the construction industry, we have a place for you. To find out more about how you can get involved with meaningful, satisfying work that helps others and benefits the community, get in touch with your local Tradestaff branch today.