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.