3 secrets of work

By Scot Herrick | Cube Rules Commentary

Jun 23

Most time on career sites is devoted to the stuff “in the weeds.” The 3 white lies managers tell you all the time, how to answer 1000 different interview questions and the 5 things that make you look like a poor job performer all dominate the headlines. Necessarily so, since we seek to solve work problems.

Once in a while, though, we should step back and take a bigger picture look at what we do that helps us engage in our work and gain satisfaction from it.

A good “big picture” start comes from the insightful post at Terry Starbucker’s site and called The Secret(s) of Work. In it, Terry notes the three secrets of job satisfaction:

  • Work must be done with passion
  • The work must be for a cause greater than ourselves
  • It ultimately must be fun, or it isn’t worth doing

What’s more, these 3 are truly a set – that is, you can’t just get to 2 out of 3 and call it good.

We’ve all seen the work with a passion, though I have my issues with finding your passion. We’ve also seen that we must work for a cause greater than ourselves and not just a paycheck as well. Plus, whole websites are devoted to the cause of fun at work.

But the kicker for me was “these 3 are truly a set.”

Each of the three have individually been touted as being the “answer” to employee engagement, retention and all sorts of ills in the workplace. But the better answer, I think, is the combination of all three. You can’t have one and have career and job satisfaction. You can’t have two and get it done. You need all three.

Since I’m leaving on vacation on Thursday, you start to think more about the big picture of your life. You wonder how it all fits together. Terry’s approach is a great place to start.

Do these three aspects of work kick work up a notch for you?