IT Employment

5 very important questions


It's easier to be successful if you are doing something which you are passionate about.

Most people agree with this statement, more or less. And yet most people are doing things that don't get them pumped up - why is that?

It has a lot to do with not knowing what we don't like.

We can't be clear about what we're passionate about if we're unclear about what we don't like.

Sounds simple right? However, for many, perhaps most, individuals it's not. If we ask them what they really enjoy, they give us "objective" answers such as, "Well I should enjoy this activity; after all, many other people would kill for this opportunity." Or they may temper their response, saying something like, "This is pretty good, not perfect but overall, it's fine."

One can't be passionate and non-passionate at the same time. We either really enjoy something or we just enjoy it a little. I've found that the same holds true with what we do for a living. Some people look forward to getting out of bed everyday. Most don't. Oh, they'll have some days when they jump out of bed, but usually they don't look forward to each new day. They are the "rationalizers" who say things like, "well life's not perfect for anyone is it?" They'll patiently tell you that, "we're lucky to have a job that pays pretty well and is at an air-conditioned building."

If you aren't clear about what you want out of life, it's more than likely you're going to have a pretty boring and perhaps fairly unsatisfying life. Here are a few questions I use to find out how truly passionate people are about what they do. I suggest you ask yourself how you really feel about these items. If you aren't truly enjoying your work now, you should know it's probably only going to get worse the longer you stay where you are.

Here are my five very important questions. I suggest you write these down and put the answers beside them.

1. What are you tolerating, or putting up with currently? (This one is just as applicable for your personal life as it is your job life.)

2. What do you love doing in your job, or what do you love about it? 

3. What do you hate doing or about it? (As above.)

4. For you to really look forward to getting up out of bed every day; what would have to change? (This can be people, your job role, where you work, or personal issues.)

5. Why do you stay at the job (or company) you're at right now?

Most people tolerate too much. When you live a life that is only "OK," you're not jazzed. You're filling time. You will wither. If you know what you love doing but don't have enough opportunity to do more; it may be time to move on. Unless you're OK with just tolerating your career. If you know what you hate - make a change so you don't have to do it any more. Or else accept that you are prepared to wither because you "don't have any choices" in your life.

If you want to get out of bed in the morning; life's just better. It's more fulfilling. And fun. And you'll be much more satisfied overall. Satisfaction can come from hundreds of sources - for example money, job tasks, responsibility, fun, office environment, hours, commuting. It's personal. I know many many people who love to get up each morning. They are very successful.

John

Success Coach

About

John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion d...

5 comments
JamesRL
JamesRL

You know if everything in life was a joy, they wouldn't have to pay us. While a few intrepid soles find their dream role and fill it, the vast majority of us find a balance of enjoying enough of the job to continue, and enduring the rest. This is just as true for those making 6 figures as those just out of school. My answers: 1) I tolerate my commute. Its getting longer in time as my city gets mroe crowded. I find ways to cope - music etc. 2) I really have a great relatiosnship with my boss. I have a great relationship with many, but not all of my staff. We like to have fun, we kid each other, we support each other, we can vent with each other. 3) I hate the HR paperwork and bureaucracy that comes with management roles. But I acecpt that as an individual, there isn't much I can do to change it. 4)When my group gorws to the point where I can delegate some of the management tasks to first level supervisors, freeing me up for the strategic stuff, I will be happier. 5) I stay because it offers me stability and at the same time challenges me. The pay is ok. The people are good to work with. I keep getting more responsibilties. James

Fregeus
Fregeus

1. What are you tolerating, or putting up with currently? Management madness, being consider a cost instead of an asset, not being able to do the job right for budgetary reasons. 2. What do you love doing in your job, or what do you love about it? The "EUREKA" moment you get when you solve a problem. Taking a complex situation (architecture) and making it work. Completing a project within budget, time and that fill the requirements. Basically, doing a good job. 3. What do you hate doing or about it? (As above.) Being lied to by users, or worst, by colleagues who wish to cover their asses. All the BS in this industry, buzzwords that don't mean a thing. The word "innovation". The fact that you are expected not to have a life outside work. Managers who refuse request because it will impact their quarterly bonuses. 4. For you to really look forward to getting up out of bed every day; what would have to change? See answer 3. 5. Why do you stay at the job (or company) you're at right now? I cannot find anything else I'm good at and that i like that pays as much.

jdclyde
jdclyde

[i]1. What are you tolerating, or putting up with currently?[/i] Change in management, turning our department from a support center to a cost center. You can waste a lot of time/money deciding if something is a value to do or not, and a lot of things have a soft value that doesn't show up on a ledger. [i]2. What do you love doing in your job, or what do you love about it? [/i] Playing with the cool toys is fun. Learning new things all the time. [i]3. What do you hate doing or about it? (As above.)[/i] Having to try to candy coat your explanation of how a user broke something so you don't hurt their little feelings. [i]4. For you to really look forward to getting up out of bed every day; what would have to change?[/i] I wish I didn't have an hour drive each way to my office everyday. I also wish I stared earlier so I would end earlier. Hard to do much in the evening when you don't get home until around 6:30 pm. [i]5. Why do you stay at the job (or company) you???re at right now?[/i] They have continued to invest a lot of money in me in training. They have paid for my certs and my recent BA. I get treated pretty good, and that goes a long ways. I have time in my day to fill out posts like this. B-) :D

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

1. Every job has some kind of menial chores to do. Whether it is some mind numbing check or simply cleaning up after you have had all the fun. Think of it as washing dishes after a meal. Sure if you eat out all the time you don't have to worry about it but that's not the long term solution. Somebody has to clean up your mess. 2. The "Eureka" feeling when solving a new challenge. Be it fixing a small program, troubleshooting the network, or analyzing a sample. 3. Cleaning up after. The repetitious tedium of checking something, slowly, thouroughly checking off a list trying to find the problem. But that is an important part of the solution. People who ignore this part risk not having a thourough understanding of the problems they can encounter in the future. IMO. 4. That's easy. NOTHING! I'm not a morning person. Give me a break. There's no good reason to get out of a perfectly good bed! Well maybe to go to work? Drink coffee. If I didn't get out of bed every time I didn't feel like it I would be standing on the street corner with a piece of cardboard. 5. First I like it, it's fun. Second, there are only 6 years left before I'm qualified for retirement. Not going to retire then, but it would be silly to lose a perfectly good retirement because I don't like washing dishes or inventorying monitors. Life ebbs and flows. Sometimes life is great, your a problem solving hero. Sometimes you feel like a dunce your solution didn't work, now there's egg (or worse) on your face. But if you keep going you will get through it. There's nothing wrong with evaluating your likes and dislikes. But every job I've had has "chores". Grin and bear it. Just my opinion.

Web-Guy
Web-Guy

1. What are you tolerating? ... Overall there is nothing to painful with my job now. 2. What do you love doing in your job, or what do you love about it? ... I really enjoy building new applications from scratch. There is something especially gratifying about solving challenging problems or figuring out a nasty bug (those aw haw moments). And it nice to hear feedback from the normally tight lipped management that the application is stable and just what they asked for. 3. What do you hate doing or about it? ... Hate is to strong a word for me but less favorable parts of the job; well, tight deadlines are never fun. Getting support calls at home. Requests for features or applications that you know are almost useless. 4. For you to really look forward to getting up out of bed every day; what would have to change? ... Nothing, I already get up everyday with a generally happy attitude. 5. Why do you stay at the job (or company) you're at right now? ... I really enjoy it, most deadlines are loose.Six weeks vacation. Full pension. Health insurance is fully paid, and I'm getting paid what my peers are. Great job security in government as well. But it took a number of years to reach my good salary, at well below industry rates.