• Tom Marshall

Here's what I find meaningful

This week I’m celebrating six months of being fully dedicated to my purpose. Its been incredible so far. I feel a sense of adventure from infinite possibilities and a flow of energy from doing work that I really care about.


When we reach milestones or change environments, it often helps us think. In the past two weeks, I’ve been visiting my girlfriend’s family in Paris and mine in the UK. This has grounded me to reflect on why I started this journey and how I want to continue it.


After starting my career as a Strategy Consultant in 2016, I gave a speech at my graduation ceremony. I expressed that I had ticked all the societal boxes of success but lacked the most essential thing: meaning.


Just like me, my colleagues and fellow graduates were utterly unprepared to live a meaningful working life. This was why I started my foundation Extraordinary Life alongside my day job, giving personal development workshops and coaching people.


Supporting others to strive for meaning at work has been my guiding light for the past four years. This became my meaning. I’ve now experienced the whole process of transitioning from a corporate “9 to 5” day job to a meaningful working life (in a previous blog I shared how I did it). I thus feel a duty to support impact-driven professionals like you on your journey’s.


Over the past two weeks, I’ve interviewed many of you to hear about your challenges in striving to live a meaningful working life. This is what I’ve learnt so far:

  • Uncertainty holds us back. “There are several things I would love to do, once I have certainty about my future.”

  • We fear that we’re not enough. “Who am I, why would they hire me?”

  • Financial security keeps us locked in. “I may be ranking meaning #1, but I'm not in a position to change jobs, because I need the money.”

  • Societal definitions of success can push us off-track. “I had a misguided focus of trying to make a big career and earn money. That clouded my perspective on what I really think was meaningful.”

It’s easy to feel alone with these challenges, but remember: We are part of the silent majority that wants more meaning at work. It’s a biological need. Many of your colleagues and friends feel the same as you. Some are just pretending their work isn’t bullsh*t when they know it is.


Going forward, supporting you to live a meaningful working life will be the core of my work. We’ll be addressing these challenges together. Look out for blogs, LinkedIn posts and other resources that are in the pipeline.


The next six months are uncertain, particularly with COVID-19, but I know I’m on the right path. Thank you for accompanying me on this journey. Reading your messages gives me confidence in feeling that I’m exactly where I want to be.