plus/minus epsilon

Enjoyable Work

3 Sep 2020

What do people like about their jobs (besides money)?

  1. Social interaction: A sense of community
  2. Autonomy: An ability to decide how they work
  3. Variety: A defense against boredom
  4. Feedback: Knowing if they’ve done a good job
  5. Sense of contribution: An understanding of how their effort helps the company achieve its mission

In my experience, 2 through 4 have almost always been provided.

The first item, social interaction, is touch-and-go for me. When I was an intern, I was explicitly excluded from team meetings and events. Sometimes the team I’m on has bonded surprisingly well. The months after COVID-related lockdowns started were about as isolating as unemployment.

The last item, a sense of contribution, is offered only when I demand it as a condition for contributing anything at all. These days, most of what I hear is about whether or not some chunk of work will make money. And guess what? Nobody cares about money that’s not theirs. Instead, repeatedly and compellingly remind people why their work--their individual effort--makes the lives of others better.

Leadership Business