Miserable Job

It’s annual performance review time at our company, and hopefully this annual exercise is as much about looking forward to the coming year as it is about looking back at the past. As you think about your annual review, it is a good time to consider job misery. If you are a manager, I hope you know when one of your team members is miserable in their job. If you are the individual who is miserable in your job, it may be useful to ask why..

In the book “The Three Signs of a Miserable Job”, author Patrick Lencioni offers a model that describes reasons for job misery:

1. Anonymity – Are you ‘known’ in your job? “People who see themselves as invisible, generic or anonymous cannot love their jobs, no matter what they are doing.”

2. Irrelevance – Does your work matter to someone? “Without seeing a connection between the work and the satisfaction of another person or group of people, an employee simply cannot find lasting fulfillment.”

3. Immeasurement – Can you measure your own progress? This one was the most intriguing to me. “Without tangible means of assessing success or failure, motivation eventually deteriorates as people see themselves as unable to control their own fate.”

If you are miserable in your job, do any of these ring true as the possible cause? If so, work with your manager to become known, connect your work to the satisfaction of others, and establish a means of measuring progress.

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