In his latest “Times of Mind” article, Subroto Bagchi takes a (by-now-expected) unusual take on the entire concept of Job Satisfaction. He asks whether jobs are living things that can ever ‘satisfy’ us. As he says,
“Jobs are not meant to satisfy us. Jobs are not animate things that have knowledge of who we are, what we are seeking and what our special needs could be”
“Few of us ever ask the boss to be rewarded with a tough and dirty job. We only look for the ‘plum’ ones. Yet, there are people, who given a tough and dirty job, make it strategic: they transform the job in unbelievable ways. In a typical career span, there must be at least four such solid stints in one’s life to make the person a solid professional. All the great people I know have been in the trenches for much of their lives, and their inventory of bruises outnumber(s) the commendations they have received. The occasional commendations stay on the wall. It is the bruises that these people carry with pride.”
When I started my career, and for years afterwards, I was in continual, never-ending search for job satisfaction. Over time, as I matured (?), it was replaced with the realization that every “first day at work” was exciting, every “first year” satisfying, but then it sort of tapered off every single time.
If it happens once, fate! Twice, coincidence! But more than that and it must be something internal, something to do with me, rather than with the job/company!
I also realized that the times when I felt “fulfilled” weren’t necessarily the times that were the happiest, or the times when my bosses, colleagues, family or the company were catering to my every need. They were usually the times I was contributing the most, the times I was in “flow”, the times I was “satisfying the job”.
You can read the full article here.