Have you ever gotten lost in your thoughts in the middle of your morning commute, or on the second mile of your treadmill jog and found yourself daydreaming about your "perfect" career? What did it feel like? How did you see yourself spending your days? How was it different from your current job?
A 2017 Gallup poll revealed that 51%of the more than 100 million full-time employees in the American workforce are not engaged at their workplace, meaning they are just there. So, if you would categorize yourself similarly to 51 million of your unengaged peers, have you been wondering what — or who — is to blame?
Perhaps the more revealing question you should be asking is: WHAT IS MISSING?
According to the popular author Malcolm Gladwell, there are three requirements for satisfying work:
- Autonomy: being responsible for your own decisions and direction
- Complexity: work that engages your mind and your imagination
- Reward: a direct relationship to the amount of effort you exert and the rewards you reap.
In his groundbreaking 2008 bookOutliers: The Story of Success, Gladwell briefly summarizes the lives of the Borgenichts, a Jewish immigrant family in the New York garment industry after World War II. Despite working back-breaking 18-hour days for next to nothing, the Borgenichts found meaning in starting their own garment business. Let's take a look at how their example of autonomy, complexity, and reward led them to succeed.
As a business owner, you get to decide what you do every day. Although certain things need to get done to run your company, it is up to you how you accomplish those tasks.
Gladwell states, "When Borgenicht came home at night to his children, he may have been tired, poor and overwhelmed, but he was alive. He was his own boss." For Borgenicht, he could do the difficult and time-consuming work because he was in control of his choices, not someone else.
Borgenicht's work "was complex; it engaged his mind and imagination." Performing difficult work that is demanding and intellectually stimulating can make it meaningful and energizing. Gladwell asks, "If I offered you a choice between being an architect for $75,000 a year and working in a tollbooth every day for the rest of your life for $100,000 a year, which would you take?" Even for less money, working as an architect can be challenging and offer a meaningful complexity that is unavailable to a tollbooth worker. It's the obstacles in our work that help us grow and discover what drives us.
"And, the longer he and Regina stayed up at night sewing aprons, the more money they made the next day on the streets." Having that direct connection between the amount of work you put in and the payoff, whether it be financial or emotional, supplies a needed tangible reward. If because of your efforts, you can afford your desired lifestyle, help people in your community, and leave a financial legacy for your family, those rewards will drive you to work harder and achieve greater success.
If you find work that you love, you will be more likely to stick with and be successful in all aspects of your life. A franchise that is a good fit for you will increase your motivation to succeed, your engagement, job satisfaction, and personal fulfillment. If Caring Senior Service seems like a good fit for you, a career working for yourself helping local seniors can genuinely satisfy all three conditions of meaningful work.