In Australia, long term unemployed people are pushed through these agencies and encouraged to get any job they can. It kind of makes sense because you can't afford to be choosy when you've been out of work for months and have bills to pay.
However most people have bigger dreams to do something more meaningful with their lives. Not necessarily world changing but meaningful to them. It struck me that those people would be better served by having someone help them to become 'astronauts' - as a metaphor for a more meaningful life that's going to require effort to achieve.
It's maybe not the Job Agency's place to be that 'someone' but they certainly have access to resources and training options (and sometimes even funding) that can point many people in the right direction. To get that start towards a more meaningful life.
The video below has been doing the rounds of late. It talks about this very issue of working out what it is you really want to do with your life and then focus yourself on doing that. Watch the video and then read on...
Initially you may be skeptical and you may even highlight how this video tells you not to focus on the money, causing you to dismiss the whole thing as fanciful. If that's you then you missed the point and really need to listen and watch again.
The point is that in order to lead a meaningful life you have to focus on what it is you want to do rather than focus on earning money. Having money is like fame, or being famous, it's a by product of what you do and not a goal to be aspired to in its self.
Meaningful lives take effort, time, commitment, dedication and... money. I know, exactly your point, right? You can't just drop everything and pursue a meaningful life without money.
When you're just starting out on this revelation to live a more meaningful life doing what you want to do, you're probably not going to just quit your boring day job but you will eventually.
As you become more knowledgeable and experienced with doing whatever it is you do that's going to become a commodity to others wanting to do the same thing. You'll eventually be able to put a dollar value on your time and knowledge that you can charge people to access it. Just like your employer in your boring day job has already. Your employer pays you for your time and knowledge of the job you've been hired to do.
Your goal is to find that path that helps you transition from what you don't really want to do to something that you do and have people pay you for it. Not necessarily paying you a fortune but enough so you can at least keep doing what it is you enjoy.
Your dream may not even be as hard as becoming an astronaut. Some people live great and meaningful lives being the best at skateboarding, Surfing, writing, being a member of a rock band. None of these are fanciful ideas. If you want to climb mountains there is a way to earn money doing it.
After all, you can be successful at anything if you're dedicated to making that success happen. A more meaningful life is not as unattainable as you might think.