Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 26th 2013 Contents B22
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, March 26, 2013
For many of us, the idea of having
a job that is truly satisfying; the kind
where work doesn't feel like work any-
more -- is pure fantasy. Sure, profes-
sional athletes, ski patrollers, and golf
pros may have found a way of doing
what they love and getting paid for it.
But is there actually anyone out there
who dreams of sitting at a desk and
processing paper, or watching products
fly by them on conveyor belts, or work-
ing to solve other people's problems?
Career dreams are one thing; practical
reality is often another. When they
happily coincide, seize the opportunity
and enjoy it!
Luckily, when they do not, it's good
to know that it is possible to get job
satisfaction from a practical choice of
career. Job satisfaction doesn't have to
mean pursuing the ultra-glamorous or
making money from your hobby. You
can work at job satisfaction, and find
it in the most unexpected places...
The heart of job satisfaction is in
your attitude and expectations; it's
more about how you approach your
job than the actual duties you perform.
Whether you work on the farm, a
production line, in the corner office or
on the basketball court, the secret is
to understand the key ingredients of
your unique recipe for job satisfaction.
Identify your satisfaction
There are three basic approaches to
work: is it a job, a career, or a passion?
Depending on which type of work you
are in right now, the things that give
you satisfaction will vary.
If you work at a JOB, the compen-
sation aspects of the position will prob-
ably hold more appeal than anything
else, and have the greatest impact on
whether you stay or go.
If you work at a CAREER, you are
looking for promotions and career
development opportunities. Your overall
satisfaction is typically linked with your
status, power, or position.
If you work at a PASSION, the work
itself is the factor that determines your
satisfaction, regardless of money, pres-
tige, or control.
Inevitably, these are generalisations,
and you will probably find that you get
satisfaction from more than one
approach to work. Being aware of the
type of work you are doing, and the
things you need for job satisfaction,
will help you to identify and adjust
your satisfaction expectations accord-
Building job satisfaction
Once you have identified the blend
of status, power, or intrinsic enjoyment
that need to be present in your work
for you to feel satisfied, you then need
to work on some of our seven 'ingre-
dients' for a satisfying job. These ingre-
• Positive attitude.
• Knowing your options.
• Balanced lifestyle.
• A sense of purpose.
The first step in the search for job
satisfaction is to know yourself. If you're
to be happy and successful, you need
to understand your strengths and weak-
nesses. This will help you identify what
types of profession will allow you to
build on those strengths, and minimise
A useful framework for conducting
this type of analysis is a Personal SWOT
It is difficult to feel satisfied with
something you aren't very good at, so
rather than spend time beating yourself
up about it, take a long hard look at
the things at which you excel, and try
to find a position that uses some of
those skills too.
Another important component of
self-awareness is to have a good under-
standing of your personality traits and
your preferred style of working. A useful
tool for this is Schein's Career Anchors,
which helps you understand what you
value and what motivates you in your
career, (and also what you do not value,
and what de-motivates you).
For more information on some of
the most commonly used personality
and behavioral typologies, the Mind-
Tools site has articles on Myers Briggs
and Holland's Codes. These also provide
links to assessment tools such as the
MAPP assessment as well as a suite of
assessment tools at Analyse My Career.
By increasing your self-awareness,
you can work towards the ideal blend
of compensation, status, and intrinsic
reward that suits you, and that you can
realistically achieve. Knowing this will
help you to set appropriate goals, and
manage your own expectations.
The greater the match between your
preferences and the requirements of
the job, the more potential for job sat-
isfaction you have. The remaining six
'ingredients' determine how much of
that potential you actually achieve.
Some days you may deny it, but we
all thrive on interesting challenges. Does
this mean your job has to be the head
of engineering at NASA? No, different
things challenge different people at dif-
ferent times. You just need to figure
out what you can do to make sure you
don't allow yourself to go stale at work.
Even if the job itself is not all that
challenging, you can make it challeng-
ing. Some great ideas here include:
• Set performance standards for
yourself: aim to beat your previous
record, or set up a friendly competition
Continued on Page B23
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