Good job/Bad job

September 7, 2011 at 5:51 PM | Posted in The biz life | 4 Comments
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If we can forget for a moment that the economy is bad and that we should be ever-fearful (in the time we have between worrying about  the weather) while just hoping that investors will decide, once their lobbyists are satisfied and the Tax Rate is at or close to zero, that they can invest their “dry gunpowder,”  I have a question: what makes you stay in one job and what makes you leave another?

Yes, there are a million reasons for both: good boss/bad boss; decent pay/can’t get another job; illusion of security/flat-out insecurity; close to home/commute would interfere with your golf game. In my long career I thought of all of them and acted on a few. But I’ve been wondering what a good reason might be, one that you could take with you from place to place and I have come up with the following;

Do I get a chance to put my ideas into action?


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  1. Hi Tom, great post. I have been spending a little time of my own contemplating this same issue.

    Back in the early 1990’s when I got my MBA, I recall research that showed a key factor determining overall job satisfaction was the degree of “perceived autonomy” a job provided to an employee. In other words, the more discretion; ability to contribute & influence; and the degree of independence to determine how tasks are to be done, the higher the job satisfaction and motivation.

    So in your words, the more one can put one’s ideas into action, the more motivated and happy the worker.

    Once upon a time, only senior-level workers possessed autonomy. But In my experience, increased autonomy is available at many levels within today’s organization. Autonomy, and the ability to influence, even exists with contract professional workers (such as myself), as long as that person brings the needed skill and passion.

    I share this insight because you make an excellent point, and a good reminder: one owes it to oneself to find work situations that offer the ability to use skill & passion to “put one’s ideas into action”…

    • Julie, your insight is strong and I’d like to add that it is a relief to a manager or “boss” to have an employee who wants to do things. Managing someone is exhausting! Thanks for reading and more importantly — commenting!!

  2. Hi Tom – this is an interesting and important discussion – regardless of economy or other circumstances, i heartily believe that we should always allow ourselves to be a bit introspective (and hopeful) regarding our careers. Having recently made the decision to move from one position to another – what was my motivation?

    As you and Julie have both touched on – it has to do with ideas and autonomy for sure … but I ‘d like to throw in another twist from my personal view – I ask the question “can I make a positive impact and difference to the new gig utilizing the portfolio of experience and level of energy I have to give – and can this new organization accept what I have to bring”. If the answer is yes, then the decision is easy.

  3. I thought of what Tom & Julie have said..and your comments are right on. Prior to joining QAD, I left a company after 20 yrs. for that very same reason….I wasn’t able to do what I wanted to do. I needed freedom to act. My happiest career moments were when I took that freedom, created something, and that “something” still exists.
    Looking back now, as a retiree, creating something that “survives” you makes you eternal. Perhaps this all circles back to Becker’s classic “Denial Of Death.” We yearn to create virtual “monuments” to ourselves so that they will outlive us. Thus, we think we are becoming immortal. I know…rather heavy thinking on my part. As my daughter sometimes tells me “ think too much.”

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