When was the last time you said: “I love my work?” What were you doing when you made that statement? Who were you with?
This is the question Dr. Beverly Kaye asks we consider as we review our professional and personal development. Her first questions focused on our Place. Next, ourselves.
What work do you find easy, energizing, enjoyable? What are some of the challenges you run into when trying to accomplish work? Which of those challenges did you enjoy?
These were some of the questions I asked myself (probably not in those words) the first time I was laid off due to a business closure. Throughout my eight years at the bank, I had risen in the ranks from support clerk to an MIS Analyst, primarily because I had evinced a certain intuition with computers and managing data.
But this job gave me headaches — literally. When I interviewed for a new job, although their MIS department was vying for my employment, I had decided to join the training department. Because for my entire tenure as MIS Analyst, I had enjoyed helping others understand the systems that they needed to use to do their job. In fact, that’s what had alerted my employer to my computer skills in the first place — I was helping my teammates do their jobs just a little bit better.
Dr. Beverly Kaye suggests that this will be one of the more important aspects of employee satisfaction in the future. She divides employee satisfaction into three categories:
Skills, which relate to the employees’ competencies
Interests, which relate to the employees’ enjoyment
Values, which relate to the employees’ commitment
That’s why, when I found myself looking for work, I had resolved to switch professions. No matter my ability with computers, every job within the MIS profession appeared to be a dead end. Did I love my work? It was a paycheck punctuated by instances of glory. So yeah, I chased after the glory.