Leave your ego at the door every morning, and just do some truly great work. Few things will make you feel better than a job brilliantly done – Robin S. Sharma
This week, I went through meeting marathons with clients and had just a little time for breaks. Overall, it was highly stressful and demanding. Simultaneously, though, I felt a great sense of joy.
So, I asked myself, why is that?
While I greatly enjoy working together with my current team and other auxiliary conditions are met (decent food, pay, enough sleep…), I presume these factors don’t make me feel that joyful but are hygiene factors, i.e. they make me unhappy if not fulfilled but don’t give positive satisfaction or lead to higher motivation.
Rather, it’s the feeling of doing something I’m proud of. I helped my clients and teammates to solve various tough problems and made a significant contribution, making me feel that I’m doing something I’m great at. It’s this feeling of making a difference that creates a great sense of joy.
But how do we find work we’re great at? How can we do more of it? And why is that important? That’s what today’s blog article will be about.
- Being great at something and accomplishing whatever you set yourself up for greatly boosts your happiness
- Making ourselves proud of what we do is a key driver of motivation
- Colleagues and managers who appreciate or even praise our work give us joy no salary increase could do so
- First, we have to define for ourselves what “great” actually means
- Second, we have to commit ourselves to becoming actually very good at these things
- Third, we need to actually work
Find work you’re great at
According to a study, a sense of accomplishment is the strongest driver of happiness for employees under 35 years old. While older generations did work to earn money and being the “breadwinner” was enough accomplishment for them, generations y and z seek more than just a decent salary.
Nevertheless, whether you’re a 50-year-old or 20-year-old, being great at something and accomplishing whatever you set yourself up for greatly boosts your happiness.
Making ourselves proud of what we do is a key driver for motivation. Colleagues and managers who appreciate or even praise our work give us joy no salary increase could do so.
So, how can we find work we’re great at?
First, we have to define for ourselves what “great” actually means. I’ve got a pretty clear image of what “great” work at my current stage means: End-to-end ownership of problems, serving my clients as a trusted advisor, being a collaborative colleague who helps his teammates to solve their problems more efficiently, and creating impact outside of my current project by driving internal initiatives.
Concretely, I accomplish great work in the absence of my project manager; my clients call or write me and not my project manager/leadership because they trust me most to handle their problems; I contribute to my teammates’ work streams by providing guidance; I document knowledge I gained through my work and share it with other teams currently working on similar problems.
Second, we have to commit ourselves to becoming actually very good at these things, i.e., we have to be willing to challenge ourselves and learn. Ideally, we tell our managers and colleagues about the things we want to improve so they can help us.
Third, we need to actually work. Thereby, we should be conscious of the tasks and activities that don’t provide us with a sense of pride and accomplishment and reduce them as well as those that do and focus more on them.