Thursday, November 24, 2011

What we want from work

Few of us work for just the money: once the basics of life are covered, then money transforms, for some, into a measure of success. But, for most, there are other factors that come into play and reward us more.
  • Personal freedom - Few of us likes to be micro-managed. We prefer to understand and agree vision and values and strategy and, within limits, to be accountable for how we organize and deliver the results.
  • Respect of colleagues - Even someone who works entirely alone, like an artist, craves the affirmation of a job well done from customers and others. Most of us appreciate knowing that our work makes a difference and is valued by others.
  • Learning something new - Grounded in the IT industry, I rapidly learned that 'everything' changes every few months. We can't be effective without a commitment to lifelong learning and the ability to assimilate new information and assess its significant implications.
  • Challenge - Most of us appreciate the challenge of getting something accomplished despite risks and adversity. Even more important is when the challenge is viewed as somehow significant.
  • Completing a project - We have to celebrate success and break down bigger tasks into smaller milestone chunks that can be achieved in a reasonable time and effort. That sense of accomplishment fuels the sense of progress and spurs us on to new achievements.
  • Helping other people - When I was younger I ruled out a number of career choices because I just couldn't see how they made the world a better place. Most of us release our best potential when what we do is seen as worthwhile and makes a difference to others.

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