Inert Detritus The Internet's dust bunnies

7 September 2006 @ 10am

Measuring Success: Height, or Happiness?

Isn’t it about time we quit measuring professional success in one dimension, vertically, and start considering how much your actual work matches your desired work?

From Creating Passionate Users comes the question, “Why is our success metric our height on the corporate ladder? Shouldn’t we be measuring how closely what we want to do matches up with what we are doing?”

I think a lot of people work jobs that they don’t like, just dredging through the job because it:

  • pays well
  • the benefits are good
  • quitting requires too much effort

Those are horrible reasons to stay in a position. If someone asks you to leave your job, your reasons should be more like:

  • I’m doing what I love
  • My boss/supervisor/shareholders is/are great to work for
  • They’re understanding when things in my personal life come up
  • My work matters to people
  • I’ve dreamed of doing this all my life
  • I’m good at what I do
  • I know this is where I should be
  • The people I work with are wonderful coworkers
  • They could halve my pay and I’d still love it

For example: some people love programming. They have a talent for coding, for design, and for smashing bugs. They are code gurus; they make the language dance in ways few can.

Why take this person and promote them to a management position? Why force them to do that in order to get a raise, or more vacation, or better benefits? That’s not what they love.

Find something you love, and chase it with everything you’ve got. Why be stuck in a job that someone placed you in?

Find a job you enjoy, and you’ll never work a day in your life.