Let’s talk about work. It’s something we all have to do (well, almost all of us, aside from those lucky few). It is often the activity that we do more than any other activity in our day. More than spending time with our families, children, friends, more than eating, more than any hobby that we have. And even more than sleeping. Yes, partner at my firm who shall not be named but who looked at me like I was insane when I said this: I spend far more time each day in my office than I do getting the much needed sleep that will keep my brain functioning through that next turn of the merger agreement. I often spend more hours in any given 24-hour period in my office than I do at all other places in the world outside of that building combined.
Our work/job/career (the name that you give it probably depends how you feel about it) is not only the activity that takes up the biggest part of our day, but it also often takes up the biggest part of our self identity. Our job sometimes [most times?] defines who we are and a huge portion of our self satisfaction, happiness and confidence comes from “what we do for a living.” Within 10 minutes of meeting someone new, no matter who it is that you are meeting or in what context you have met them, they will almost always ask: so, what do you do? We’ve all been there. We all do it. I am guilty of this just as much as anyone else. And so with such a big chunk of ourselves wrapped up in our careers, why is it that so many people are not happy or satisfied with their work? Is it that they like their job function, but don’t like the particular company or organization that they work for? Or perhaps it is their co-workers, managers or bosses that they don’t like? Or is it that so many people are simply working for the weekend? Picking up that paycheck so that they can really live the lives that they love in the book ends of each work week?
The answer to that question, of course, will differ for everyone. And certainly not everyone is unhappy with his or her job. But in my circle of friends and in my professional circle, most people would and do report not being fully happy with or fulfilled by their work.