Many of us often get overwhelmed by the sense of misfit in our current position. We tend to believe that grass is always greener on the other side. This article suggests otherwise and offers a framework for reevaluating your current job.
The subject of loving (or not) your job and why has always been one of interest and discussions. Recently we came across an interesting read that suggests possible reasons why some people find their jobs more enjoyable than others. Trying on their way of looking at their jobs may help you to reevaluate your current situation.
Amy Wrzesniewski a professor at the Yale School of Management, began her research of the reasons why some people like their job and others don’t by interviewing hospital workers. Rather than interviewing doctors and nurses, she went for the bottom of the totem pole – the patient room cleaning staff. It is a traditional “dirty” job and, certainly, some of the workers expressed little enthusiasm about it during the interviews. They described their job as not requiring much skill and unenjoyable.
What stood out to Amy is a group of people with an unexpected perspective of their job. These were people who felt their labor was highly skilled and they particularly enjoyed certain aspects of their job. Many of them would go out of their way to learn about the patients who’s rooms they were cleaning, some would even modify their schedule to attend the rooms of patients with little or no visitors.
The job description provided by the first group closely resembled the official language, where the second group used rich and expressive terms. It would appear that they were doing a different job altogether.
Amy quickly realized that these people were quietly crafting the job they were assigned into the job they wanted to do. Amy and her colleagues coined this practice as “job crafting” and they believe it to be the key to happiness and appreciation in many jobs.
In the times of underemployment, many of us are thankful for having a job at all, even one we hate or don’t particularly enjoy. However, using the job crafting exercise may change your perspective on what you do, and prevent you from making the rash decision and quitting the job. We suggest actively working towards realizing the realities of your job and then actively shaping them into something better suited to your talents and interests. If after the exercise you still feel unfulfilled in your job, check out our Before You Quit Your Job Checklist for some helpful tips and best practices.