Fruits of labor

What makes your work satisfying?

this guy knows (h/t Unsplash)

Farmers have a tough life. They also keep making the news for having high suicide rates. Arguments have been made as to why. Is it the tight finances or physical isolation? Is it poor mental health coverage in the US? Perhaps, it’s because the weather plays a major role and there is little control over the quality of product.

I sometimes have trouble with fulfillment and motivation. When I go down to the local bakery, I don’t see that problem. The lady is excited to see me each day when I pick up a sandwich or a slice of pizza. For her, it’s worth working in a hot kitchen because she gets to see the smile on my face.

What makes your work satisfying? Some interviewers ask “Why do you want to work at our company?” Can a paycheck be enough?

When I was a corporate trainer, on each first day of class I would draw the same diagram. A circle split into six equal parts like an empty trivial pursuit playing piece. These are the keys to succeeding at the job, I would say:

  1. Capacity — the ability to perform, the intellectual, emotional, or physical attributes necessary to perform
  2. Opportunity — the chance to perform, the job offer, the seat
  3. Resources — the tools to perform, a computer or stethoscope or million dollar jet
  4. Feedback — the structure to perform, criticisms and corrections
  5. Knowledge — the information to perform, procedures and processes, tactics and strategy
  6. Motivation — the reason to perform, a purpose or passion, or maybe a paycheck?

Parents and the company were responsible for the first four. I was responsible for number 5 and the student for the last one. Not everyone had it.

There are very few people working on projects or writing code that will fix major issues across the globe, and with the looming automation employment cliff, we’ll have to change something. So is your work satisfying? Why? And if not, why do you stay there? I guess I understand the farmers sometimes.

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