A friend stated recently that his Dad worked his entire life at a job he hated. What a shame! We spend so much of our life at work that it should be something that we enjoy and receive satisfaction from doing something well and worthwhile.
Our job, our career, should bring us pride in what we do. Our accomplishments should be something our children like to talk about. Our work should bring fulfillment to our life. How do we find that work?
Let us talk first about our managers’ role in helping us achieving that pride in our work. After they hired us and placed us in the present position, they have a responsibility to help us achieve our job satisfaction and happiness. A question the manager should ask is, “Do I work in the system or on the system.” Typically, the employee is given a work process and does the best he/she can within the guidelines of that process. The manager’s primary job is to manage the process and not the employee. The employee will do the very best they can; they can’t help it. No one goes to work to do a poor job, but is often limited by his or her work processes. The managers therefore need to focus their attention on improving the work processes that will allow their employees to do better. Oh, and by the way, how does the manager receive more job satisfaction, micro-managing the employee or improving the process that allows the employee to do better? No doubt, the manager receives more job satisfaction by process improvement, which provides more productivity and pride in work by the workforce. Education, training, and positive feedback in real time also play a part in work improvement and employee satisfaction. Delegation of authority as the employee is capable and ready can give the employee an opportunity to blossom and grow.
Now for the employees’ responsibility: attitude, pride in work, enthusiasm, and happiness are all important in work productivity and quality. First, prepare yourself for promotion. Learn the requirements of the next position you desire and lay out a plan to improve you qualifications. Take advantage of education and training opportunities, learn from others, apprentice or intern, and volunteer to gain experience.
If that desired opportunity is not available where you work, don’t be afraid to seek it elsewhere. Gone are the days where we do the same job for our lifetime for most people. Most people today will have several different careers in their life as they seek opportunities leading to better work fulfillment. Technology is eliminating many jobs, social media is changing marketing and communications, and improved and innovative knowledge through electronics means is changing the work world. Display initiative and prepare yourself for change that will bring opportunities.
Money and titles are not the most important; job satisfaction and enjoyment are. Position yourself into an upward cycle of enjoyment in what you do, which leads to becoming a more productive employee, which leads to more satisfaction and pride in your work, which leads to becoming a better employee, which leads to ………..