Quick Assessment of Why You Hate (or Love) Your Job

I have a lot of conversations with people who feel very frustrated and unhappy in their jobs, only they don’t know why. I felt this way in the past about my job, but I didn’t have someone to talk to who could help me figure out what to do. So I am glad to have these conversations.

What about you? Have you ever felt this way? Do you feel this way now?

I have a quick and easy assessment you can use to help you identify some changes you can make to feel more satisfied, even happy, in your job.

1.  Make a list of the tasks and activities you perform in a typical work week. What is it that you spend your time on, day in and day out?

2.  Now take a look at your list and, very quickly, mark the items you enjoy doing with ‘+’.

3.  Next, quickly mark the items you hate doing with a ‘-’. (We all have tasks we can’t stand. That’s normal.)

4.  Finally, mark the items you feel neutral or ambivalent toward with a ‘0’.

5.  Excellent! Now tally up your scores. Count the ‘+’, ‘-’, and ‘0’.

Great work. You’ve just completed the quick assessment. If you want to love your job, your goal is to maximize the ‘+’s and minimize the ‘-’s. Take a look at the details of your typical workweek, and look for opportunities to do just that.

Here are two examples of how this might work.

Tracy discovered that she only had one or two activities that she truly enjoyed doing. But she didn’t have any items she hated. Instead, her average work week was filled with tasks that scored a ‘0’. She felt nothing toward them. As she began to consider past jobs, she realized that she used to love these tasks and activities, but now they bored her. She just found them uninteresting. What Tracy wanted, and needed, in order to love her job again was to seek new challenges.

Michelle on the other hand scored most of her items with a ‘-’. She just hated all the tasks. Her company had gone through a lot of changes in the past year, so she repeated the test using activities from an average work week from a year ago. Michelle discovered that she loved her job then, and scored many more ‘+’s last year. As she compared the lists of tasks, she realized that she had moved from being a project and team lead into a role of expert resource. She felt like she had been moved to the sidelines. Michelle now knew that she needed a job where she could be a team leader or project manager.

What about you? How does your job score? What changes do you need to make to be happier at work?

I invite you to share your thoughts and questions below.

 

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Client Stories

 I was looking to make large changes in my life, both job and city.  I was a happy midwestern resident for nearly 30 years but wanted to see what life on a coast was like and get a dream job.  This was a tall order and going into it I thought I would have to make large compromises on parts of my dreams to get any of it.  

I went to Lori to help me achieve these dreams.  It was the best decision I made.

She focused on two things right out of the gate:
  1. clarify my goals, both personal and professional
  2. get me to stop selling myself short

These twin achievements allowed me to approach my hunt with confidence, patience and focus.  My original dream job was to try and combine my technical joys with a personal one.  I enjoy large scale data processing with cutting edge tools, music and baseball.  Through the tools Lori taught me and helped me unearth in myself I got that gig that would have fallen into day dream territory before our work together.  

And yeah, there's platinum records on the walls of my lobby and I have tons of data to process.

Pat Christopher, Intelligence Engineer, Seattle, WA