You’ve spent time outlining your vision and goals for your work, but what happens if the work you actually do does not look like what you imagined? Your community partners want to utilize all of your skills, and any task they ask you to do has a purpose. It is your job to understand that purpose and connect the task at hand to the larger picture. In this line of work, no job is inconsequential. Remember that even when the work you are doing feels small-scale, it is playing a role in reaching the large-scale goal.


The key to managing your expectations is to regularly re-evaluate them. We all experience moments where our work doesn’t feel fulfilling or like it has an impact. If we change our perspective, however, we can find the value in what we do.

Helpful Tip

Take a moment to ask “why?” This one-word question allows us to think beyond a literal task and explore the meaning behind it. Thinking about the why behind the how helps to illuminate the meaning in our work. When we believe we are doing meaningful work, it becomes easier to approach that work with strength and vigor.



  • What is one component of your work that is different from what you expected?
  • How do you feel about working on this task?


  • Why is this task important to your community partner?
  • Why is this task important to the community you are serving?


  • Why does this task matter?
  • How does this task connect to your goals for your work?