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How a Job in Senior Living Provides Purpose and Meaning

A collage of a diverse group of people dressed business casual

When you spend a third of your life at work, you want that work to be meaningful. But what does it mean to have a “meaningful job”? It all comes down to a sense of purpose. When researchers at Yale started investigating who loved their jobs, and why, the results showed people who found purpose in the work they were assigned were the happiest. People working for companies with a clearly stated purpose were also more likely to feel satisfied with their jobs and stay longer.


Find Your Why

A senior living career can offer deeper meaning that other jobs may lack. As human beings, we want to be part of something that is bigger than ourselves. Knowing that what we do makes a difference and that it connects to a greater good outside of us is fundamental to finding fulfillment in our jobs. It’s this feeling of purpose that keeps us grounded through the ups and downs of our workdays.  While there’s no such thing as a typical senior living community or even a typical day at a senior living community, there’s always a question to answer, a skill to learn or a person to help. You can:

  •   Build new friendships and relationships. You’ll have the opportunity to meet new people every day. As you talk, smile, laugh and commiserate with residents and co-workers, you’ll feel like part of a close-knit family. Some of our team members become very close to the residents they serve, and residents become like second parents or grandparents to them.
  •   Change lives for the better. An AARP study shows that loneliness can be as bad for health as obesity or smoking. And you have the power to reverse its effects. You don’t have to be a professional to help someone feel included or to respond with compassion when they feel down. And when you connect with, care for and comfort someone else, there’s a ripple effect. You not only enrich their life, but the lives of their friends and families — yours too. 
  •   Challenge yourself. Working in senior living is never boring — because you’re dealing with human beings, you’ll exercise your problem-solving skills. Maybe you’ll teach a resident how to communicate with their family using technology. Or you’ll find a way for someone with limited mobility to exercise. Create a meal that gets rave reviews from residents. Or dream up activities that put smiles on everyone’s face. You’ll be rewarded for your creative, innovative thinking.
  •   Gain wisdom and perspective. The seniors you meet may have marched in a protest. Fought in a war. They may have had an interesting job. Grown up in another country — or fled from it. They’ve lived rich lives and have stories to tell that span decades, oceans and continents. As you interact with seniors in your daily work, you’ll tap into a well of wisdom that may change the way you see the world.
  •   Realize your potential. A senior living community is an environment where there’s enthusiasm for helping others and lifelong learning. Many people who start entry-level senior living careers pursue further education, adding skills that move them up the ladder in senior living fields and beyond.  

These are just a few of the ways a job in senior living can add greater purpose and meaning to your workday. Plus, with more and more people retiring every day, senior living will continue to be a viable career for decades to come. Ready for your next career move? Visit our Careers page where you can read about other important perks and benefits and apply for open positions.