Saturday, February 9, 2019

Your Career: 2 out of 3 Ain't Bad

(from THIS site)

I've become convinced of something lately:  In order to be happy (or at least content) at work, you need two of three things to occur.  What are the three things?

Well before I go any further, I'm going to apply Daniel Pink's axiom about compensation, namely that you are getting paid enough such that compensation isn't a front and center issue for you.  This noted, here are the variables.

1.  Your Job.
This is about loving what you do, or for the most part, enjoying much of what you do for a living.

2.  Your Manager.
This isn't the literal title of manager, but rather it's the person you directly report to in the organization.

3.  Your Employer.
This is the organization you work for...what it does, what it stands for, how impacts the community and the world.  Would you be proud to tell others you worked for this organization?

Again, I think the key here is that you need at least two of the three variables to be positive in order to be happy at work.  A few examples.

(+Job)(+Manager)(-Employer)
You love what you do and you have a very supportive manager.  Your employer?  Maybe not so good, but your manager insulates you from the worst of it all, and besides, the day-in/day-out of what you actually do "puts gas in your tank".

(+Job)(-Manager)(+Employer)
This is probably the toughest "stay" scenario, but hear me out:  You love your job, but your manager is an un-supportive pain in the rear-end.  Your organization is wonderful though, and you take pride in telling others where you work.  In this scenario, you can simply let natural attrition take care of Attila the Boss.

(-Job)(+Manager)(+Employer)
You hate your job but work for a great boss in an organization that suits you well and makes you proud to be a part of the team.  In this case, you decide that a new job in the organization is only a matter of time anyway, as your manager is supportive of your desire for career movement.

Of course, there are other scenarios.

(-Job)(+Manager)(-Employer)
You hate your job and your employer basically makes the world a worse place.  However, your manager tries very hard to motivate and assist you.  In this case, it's only a matter of time before you leave, either on your own or through some other means.

(+Job)(-Manager)(-Employer)
Your enjoyment for the work is the only thing keeping you employed.  At some point, the lack of support from your manager and the shame you feel at working for an organization that routinely treats its employees like test dummies will drive you to leave.

(-Job)(-Manager)(+Employer)
This is the toughest of the "2 out of 3" scenarios.  Why?  Because in part, humans have an inherent need for community.  We like to belong to a tribe.  Working for an admired organization that helps make the world a better place represents a mighty attractive tribe to belong to, even when the other variables paint a more dismal picture.

Lastly, we do have the opposite ends of the spectrum.

(-Job)(-Manager)(-Employer)
It goes without saying, but don't stay.  Instead, be of the opinion that your current employer is effectively paying you to find a new job.  That may be the best thing they can do for you.

(+Job)(+Manager)(+Employer)
You've found your home.

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