These statistics sound pretty depressing, do you agree? The question is, are you a statistic? But most importantly, how can you escape the job trap when you are stuck in a job rut?
Over the last 24 years, I have done “extensive research” into what makes a job enjoyable. In other words, I have been changing jobs every two or three years to ensure I got the whole picture.
But one job stood out; I won’t name the company because it was terrible. There was nothing good about it. That is when I discovered the five ingredients for the perfect job.
Five ingredients for the perfect job
Yes, colleagues are essential. In fact, people are probably the most defining factor in you enjoying your work. Of course, the more you get along with your colleagues, the better it is. But it is not just about “getting along” with each other. They also must know what it is that they are doing. In other words, you must be able to rely on them, and they must have the skills to do their job. Not just that, colleagues who gossip a lot, who have a negative attitude towards everything in life, are likely to ruin the atmosphere in the office.
In other words, look for positive, knowledgeable, willing-to-learn, humble people who look after themselves.
The office environment
Your office environment can have a massive impact on your health and well-being. If you walk into an office that is grey, without a lot of natural light, and with mess everywhere, you can be sure that this is not a healthy environment.
Fortunately, more and more organisations are investing in a pleasant office environment. Look for colour around you and furniture quality. If there is an investment in the decor, there is likely to be an investment in the people.
The work itself
The following statement is one of these comments that are nearly too obvious to include. It sounds crazy, but you must like what you do. Your job must be challenging enough to keep you stimulated without stress. Some stress is good for you. In other words, a bit of pressure to meet deadlines and some challenges that can lead to growth guarantee that you will enjoy your job.
Another aspect of the perfect job is processes and clarity. Make sure your job description is clearly defined. There must be efficient processes in place, and your role must contribute towards your purpose. Consider how to align your purpose with the corporate purpose. This alignment will significantly contribute to your happiness in all areas of your life. Having the right personality for the job is also important. You can read more about how your job can make you sick on the blog.
When I first came up with this list, my manager couldn’t improve the processes. He wasn’t proactive, and he was in no way able to manage the bottlenecks in the workflow. In other words, he had neither people nor management skills.
At another job, I had a team leader who told me, “My manager and I make the decisions. We will let you know when that has happened.” Another time they said, “There is no need to communicate this information with other team members.”
They were out of their depth (in my opinion) and micromanaged by their manager. In turn, that manager was under duress from their manager. The resulting management style was very reactive rather than proactive. They kept fighting fires instead of thinking about how to make strategic changes to benefit the future. I can keep going on about it. It made a significant impact on me: It is where I learned the importance of authentic leadership.
That experience was the complete opposite of another job. In this job, I had a manager who thought my work was magic and who didn’t feel the need to verify anything. Often work had to be done last minute, and it wasn’t always perfect. However, they were open to ideas and suggestions. Some control and input would have been great, as that, too, allows an employee to grow.
But I have also worked with managers who understand that. Managers know that each person has strengths and work with them. These managers can also admit their weaknesses and use those to get the best out of others. This type of manager provides excellent feedback and support, and they are not afraid to stand up for what is right. Ultimately, they can build on people’s strengths. These leaders work for their team and the organisation and not for themselves.
Let’s start by reminding ourselves that money doesn’t make you happy only because you spend more and won’t have enough when you earn more. The key takeaway about earning money is ensuring you have enough income to make ends meet and build wealth for your future. Make sure you have a job that pays you enough so that money is not stressful.
Accept that stress and pressure are relevant to the amount of money you get paid. Managers get paid more because they have more responsibility than those who aren’t managers. Getting paid less doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pull your weight. You can still take pride in your job. It just says there needs to be a balance between the money you earn and the stress you take on. Of course, if you are in your perfect job, your income doesn’t matter, and most likely, it will be enough anyway.
Let me know what you think I have missed from this list.