Happy At Work?

‘So the hours are pretty good then?’ he resumed.
The Vogon stared down at him as sluggish thoughts moiled around in the murky depths.
Yeah,’ he said, ‘but now you come to mention it, most of the actual minutes are pretty lousy.”
― Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The average person will spend a lot of their life at work, and driving to get there.   If your work schedule fits your lifestyle, but you do not enjoy the actual time spent at work, that is a good chunk of your life spent unhappy.  Yes, some of the problem may be the perspective you choose; focusing on the negative vs. the positive.  But, the job may also not be the right fit for you.

Several studies have shown that work is important for individuals’ sense of purpose.  This makes it all the more important that you are doing work that you enjoy.

If you’ve been applying for jobs to no avail, or simply hate the one you currently have, it might be time to take a closer look at yourself.  Simply applying for other jobs and taking the first one you get, without doing any pre-work may put you right back on the job hunt again within a short time.

Values are extremely important to finding a job you love, because if your company’s values do not match up with yours, you’ll never be satisfied.  With that in mind, figure out what is important to you.

Experts at career Web site Monster.com suggest you consider how you might rank certain intrinsic, extrinsic and lifestyle values, including some of the following:

  • Traveling for work
  • Saving for retirement
  • Room for advancement
  • Vacation time
  • Making a difference
  • Prestige or social status
  • Competition
  • Bonuses
  • Your commute
  • Time for your family

Remembering that work is important for a sense of purpose, here are additional factors to consider:

Loner or team-player?

Some people prefer to work on an individual level—one-on-one with other people—while others prefer the organizational or societal level. Think about where you fall on that spectrum.  If the company you are interviewing for works on the broader organization level, and you prefer to work with individuals to drive change, it will be harder to generate your purpose.

What motivates you in work?

The foundation of our purpose lies in our definition of progress. Some people believe that hard work will be rewarded with success, while others believe that there is a certain moral responsibility to serve, and if you don’t, chaos will ensue. And it’s important to understand how your motivations mesh with your future employer’s.

How do you work?

We gain perhaps the most purpose in how we approach our work—how we solve problems and engage in the creative process. There are four main types of people: Community-centered professionals advocate and forge connections in the community. Human-centered professionals create personal and unique experiences for individuals. Structure-driven folks look at the integration of entire systems and strategic shifts. And those who are knowledge-driven look to the data to understand the applications, people, or processes.

Look at your potential roles and employers and ask yourself how would you serve and whether that aligns with your purpose. If you are human-centered but find yourself in a role where you’re primarily engaging through databases, it likely will not drive you.

The best way to find a job you love is to do what you love!  What are your interests or hobbies?  What makes you smile?  Figure this out and then you can start looking for jobs that involve those things, along with all of the other factors you have discovered.

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