Being between jobs or projects can get almost anyone thinking about the things in life that truly make a person happy – or more specifically, the things in a job that can make a person feel whole.
Over this past summer, I admittedly had the time to ponder this very sentiment. What is the difference between those who love almost each and every working day and those who can barely pull themselves out of bed in the morning? What are the characteristics of a job that make it bad, good or great?
I came to this conclusion: In a job you need to have one of two things, and, if you manage to find both, you are what the industry calls, satisfied.
In my personal exploration, job satisfaction can come from:
A) Being properly compensated OR
B) Feeling as though you are making a difference.
Everyone needs to feel that they are properly rewarded for the value they bring to a company. Of course, if you are an entrepreneur, the story is a little different, whereby your compensation is directly correlated to your execution. As for the second ingredient to job satisfaction, feeling like you’ve made a difference — whether that difference is in a feel-good way or a bottom-line way — is crucial to achieving that pat-on-the-back wholesomeness.
When I was in San Francisco this summer, I met Ben Ridler, founder and CEO of Results.com. Simply put, his software helps companies achieve better results through goal-setting in a transparent environment. And, in this environment, a company must effectively communicate their vision to its employees so they know that their contributions are part of a larger, common goal. This is so, so important and (I think) really ties into the notion of productivity and work-place satisfaction.
While researching the topic, I found an interesting commentary by Michael Hyatt, a New York Times Best selling-author and former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. He pointed out a couple of interesting characteristics of job satisfaction. He said that there are three components that you need in order to reach workplace content: passion, competence and a market.
If you have all three of these components, you’ve got it made. Experiencing only two, however, is the root of dissatisfaction:
Passion + Competence – Market = A Hobby
Passion + Market – Competence = Failure
Competence + Market – Passion = Boredom
So? Do you have it — Job Satisfaction? I would love to hear where your work-place happiness stems from.