There was a time when it seemed as if the only important thing about “work” was that it paid the bills!!! A good government job with a great retirement plan, benefits, maybe a union, and steady hours/pay was the goal for many only a generation ago. However, with economic fluctuation and instability, greater financial literacy, technological advancement, and the arrival of generations X and Y to the workplace, there seems to be a shifting of motivation and goals when it comes to what one is willing to do to establish a livelihood for himself. Researchers and scholars have indicated that what use to matter in terms of pursuing that dream job no longer holds as much weight in the process!!! It has become less about the retirement plan, seniority at the company, or the consistency of the work schedule. Today, the questions that individuals themselves ask are, “Does my job feel like work?” “Are the skills that I use reflective of my talents, abilities, and my potential?” “Do I feel like what I do aligns with my value system and perspective on life?” “Am I inspired and am I able to inspire others with what I do?” “Am I genuinely happy?”
Here are a few tips for how to think when looking for or creating that dream job:
1. Will the job provide you with new skills or enhance current skills necessary for how you see yourself functioning in the future?
2. Are the job description and tasks meaningful to your identity and overall purpose in life?
3. Could you see yourself doing this same job even if you were not getting paid?
4. Are you inspired, and will there be a developmental component to this job?
5. Will the job foster/cultivate or stifle creativity and innovation, support or discourage autonomy, value or devalue your interests and needs, and/or develop or destroy your sense of self?
Consider these questions and have a dialogue with your current or potential employer, keeping in mind that job satisfaction not only benefits you, but benefits those for whom you work. There is a positive correlation between job satisfaction, productivity, and organizational effectiveness and the best job is one that, in essence, does not feel like a job---but feels like an opportunity to be the best you!!!