I seem to mention a lot that I enjoy my job. And it’s true. I don’t really love it every day, but 95% of the time it’s great and the other 5% it’s still passable.
What makes me happy about my job?
I work for a good company, it’s actually won awards basically for being a nice place to work. The team that I work for is (relatively) politics free and I am happy to socialise with them on a limited scale. The location is great, it’s a 50 minute walk for me, the building was refurbished about 5 years ago, and it’s in the city centre. The close proximity to the shops isn’t great for my bank balance, but it’s good for getting errands done in my lunch hour.
All of that helps, but what’s really good about my job is that it suits me.
I work in an up and coming area of my industry, which means a lot of research projects and trials and cutting edge technology. It’s also incredibly varied, and almost everyone is a generalist. This is good for me because I get bored working on different things, and I like the excitement of the new, and unknown challenges.
I’m a sort of data specialist – I’m the spreadsheet geek, and I also do a lot of other data related things. This is good because I enjoy doing it, and almost no one else does, so I’ve always got plenty of work to do. I basically don’t compete for work with anyone else on the team. It also means that I’m seen as an expert in certain areas, very good for the ego.
Some of the stuff I do makes it into the public realm in one way or another – I can actually point to things that other people see and say "I did that". It does so in a way that supports my purpose of making a difference in the world in a good way.
I don’t expect that other people are like me. But, I do think that the key to a fulfilling work life is to have a job that matches well with your skills – it should maximise your strengths (for me, broad brush new ideas) and minimise your weakness (for me, details and implementation). It should also accord with your values, the most important feature of a happy life. Finally, you still need luck, even the best jobs can be ruined by other people.
Having a job that I enjoy (that pays well enough) means that I don’t spend a lot of money drowning my sorrows and trying to buy happiness, so it’s pretty good for my wallet.
What do you think about gaining job satisfaction? Is it mostly luck, or mostly *fit*, or mostly, something else? Let me know in the comments.
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