How many of you *LOVE* your jobs? I don’t mean like your co-workers, or value the salary and benefits; I mean, how many of you JUMP out of bed in the morning anxious to get to it, and ready for the ups and downs that come with your work? According to a 2012 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, only 38% of us are very satisfied, while 43% of us are somewhat satisfied, and from what I can interpolate, 19% of us aren’t very satisfied and may be downright miserable, or too disengaged to even comment. These 2 categories (very and somewhat satisfied) are combined in their reporting for a total of 81% of American workers reporting that they are satisfied with their jobs, which is in its 4th year of decline from a high of 86% in 2009.
I don’t know about you, but I know a lot of people who like their co-workers well enough and don’t actively HATE their work, but I wouldn’t call them satisfied, or even somewhat satisfied: I think they’ve settled. After all, what else is out there? Trade one cubicle farm in for another? Trade your obsessive-compulsive/retentive boss in for a sloppy micro-manager? No thanks – at least I know who to trust here, and what to expect. Yeah, this is good enough.
Is this any way to live?! Is it even living at all!?
I want to LOVE My job! I want to jump out of my bed every morning thrilled with what lies ahead of me, and I refuse to wait it out in corporate-hell til I can retire (especially since people my age are probably going to be working until we’re at least 75…)
I think that part of the problem in cubicle-land is that we’ve become numb to the possibilities. We’ve probably had at least a couple jobs in the past 10 years; some of us stayed in the same company – others may have shifted – hopefully we’ve made a little more money… but the scenery remains largely the same.
Same corporate bureaucracy; same inane incentives for quality, or customer service (rah-rah-BLAH!); same 3% raise or LESS each year for “going above and beyond” – and forget about it if you simply did what you were asked. Do they tell you when they hire you with all those pearly-white teeth flashing at you, that the salary you accepted will rise in indirect proportion to the cost of living? Yes, so that nice $60,000 a year job offer, which is above the median household income in many states, in 5 years won’t even net you a $10,000 raise and that’s if you’re busting your hump for that “generous” 3% raise, and you better hope there’s no “salary freeze” (I’ve endured a few of those). Do you know how many years of “going above and beyond to get that 3% raise it will take you to hit 6 digits?
If you started at $60,000 you’ll make it (to 6 digits) somewhere between year 17 and 18. If you began your career at $35,000 – $40,000 or $45,000 a year, you won’t even hit 6-digits in 25 years.
But, money isn’t everything, is it?
No, it’s not – although I usually hear people with a LOT of the green stuff trying to push this concept, however; that is not the point of this post.
If this is the reality, we need to think about work in a different way. I suggest this means that we all need to do work that is not just “satisfying” but that rocks! We need to ‘find our bliss’, as Joseph Campbell said; a career that doesn’t feel like work to us because it gives us so much in return, and I’m talking more than money.
I have finally figured this out. It was a long journey, but I have finally nailed it, and I’m about to share it with the world. Here is an excerpt from the Forward to my soon-to-be-released tool, Finding Your Way:
– – – – – – –
I’ve worked a lot of jobs, in fact; I have worked a lot of different jobs. Some wonderful, exhilarating and fun; others brain-numbingly boring, and a couple that were just plain awful.
At one point I decided that the answer to my restlessness would be more education, so I went back to school and kept at it until I had several fancy pieces of expensive paper, a decent amount of student loan debt, and found that though my jobs now paid a lot better, they were also too often brain-numbingly boring, & just plain awful. I was clearly doing something wrong.
It took me several years to figure out that I was choosing jobs using criteria that were out of sync with who I am. In one of my jobs I was a professor. This job began as wonderful, exhilarating and fun, but did not remain that way, though this was NOT the fault of my students. I always coached my students to choose their jobs based on what they loved to do—not on the salary offered, because they would be spending a lot of their waking hours at work, and if they were in a loathsome job, the misery had a good chance of spilling over into their personal lives.
It seems I was really good at handing out that advice, and apparently not so swift at taking it myself.
This tool (Finding Your Way) is how I (finally!) figured it out.
I would be lying if I told you that I now never consider jobs that are out of sync with who I am. I am human and the lure of being courted by recruiters with promises of a big salary or fancy job title does have an impact at times. The good news, though is that now I have documentation that I can pull out and review to remind me that while that job/salary/title/location sounds TERRIFIC; it’s not in alignment with what I want out of life. I can then either step away from the online application or say a polite “thanks, but no thanks” to the recruiter and know that I’ve made the right choice.
I’ve created ‘Finding Your Way’ in the hope that you too will discover who you are, and what you like and (most important for work) where you THRIVE; so that you can find work that is more than just a job.
I’ll close with advice I have shared repeatedly with my students and finally listened to myself:
“You’ll spend a majority of your waking hours at work—make sure you choose a job that gives more back to you than it takes away. That’s the key to true career success.”
– – – – – – –
If you’re dissatisfied with your job, or career; looking for what’s missing in that aspect of your life this simple tool can help you figure it out. Follow this blog for updates on the release of the Finding Your Way tool, which is with the editorial staff now. We are planning a mid-July release of the BETA version, which blog-followers can access at a discounted price, which is yet to be determined, but you’ll get change back from acouple Andy Jacksons.
I hope you’ll be a part of the BETA release; I’d love your feedback and comments on what I know to be a life-changing, yet simple tool. Follow me on Twitter for all the latest (@FindingURWay)
– – – – – – –
Here are some other resources you may find helpful: