I was chatting with Liz this morning about Project HOPE, which is now in alpha testing. I asked her if she wanted to listen to my audio, and see the feedback from the testers, and she said YES. She then wrote something interesting/funny:
“I worked at JibberJobber for several years without reading your blog. When I started to read it, I finally understood what we do.”
Now, this post is about hating your job. I daresay, Liz didn’t and doesn’t hate her job. But her comment made me chuckle.
In the early days of JibberJobber blogging was one of my highest priorities. It was my marketing. It was the way I got information out. I could easily spend 45 minutes a day writing a post. My mind was consumed with thoughts about job search and career management. I didn’t realize that my team wasn’t watching the little bit of work I was doing that was highly public.
Liz’s comment hit me today though. At Bamboo last year my awesome boss talked about the importance of WHY. Working towards employee satisfaction and employee engagement, we needed to help employees understand the WHY.
Most people know the WHAT and the HOW of their job. They come to work and do their thing. But how many people know the WHY of their work?
Do YOU know the WHY of your work?
If you hate your job, I invite you to do one of two things. The first is to figure out the WHY. It might be your WHY, which could be to provide for your family, or to get out of debt, or to afford the lifestyle you want, or to be around people who inspire you, or _______________. I don’t know what your WHYs are.
The next WHY to figure out is the company’s WHY. Is it to better the world, or help people, to make lives easier? Is it to be the best, and excel, and grow, and inspire others? What is it?
Pluralsight‘s WHY is to democratize technology education around the world.
JibberJobber‘s WHY is to empower individuals with tools and knowledge about career management, and especially help people during a very tough part of their life (unemployment).
I recognize that many organizations’ WHY is to make gobs of money. I bet, though, if you go back to the founder’s vision, or some visionary leader who is there today, you’ll hear a different WHY.
Like Liz said, it wasn’t until she read my blog, years after she started working with JibberJobber, that she understood “what we do.” Or, what drives me. Or WHY we are even around. I imagine that catching my WHY changed her WHY. And as long as my WHY was aligned with her values, her level of integrity, and her personal goals, she got more fulfillment being a part of my WHY. This translates to employee satisfaction. And increased employee satisfaction leads to increased employee engagement.
Employee satisfaction and employee engagement are the holy grails of HR (just look at agendas at their conferences: how do we make our employees happy? How do we get them more engaged (aka, do their work)?)
I’m not here to talk about how HR can do better, and get more out of you. I’m here to talk about how YOU can get more personal fulfillment in your life and career.
I think the first most important thing is to understand the greater WHY.
If that doesn’t work… if you hear and understand the why and you still hate your job, then my second piece of advice is to quit. Go somewhere else.
Look, if you hate it, and you don’t care for their WHY, then you aren’t going to hate it less. You might even resent it more. Don’t torture yourself by staying in a crappy situation. Find, or make, the situation you don’t dread.
Life is too short to give months and years to a mismatch, especially when it can harm your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health. If this is you, find the WHY, and if that doesn’t change things, move on.