Monday, August 4, 2008

Fulfillment in Your Work

by Fred Smith

My friends and associates who experience fulfillment in their work have several common denominators.

1. They have realistic expectations. They do not waste time fantasizing about some perfect situation, oozing with excitement, pleasure, high visibility, a six-figure salary, and no problems. They expect some pain, some drudgery, and even disappointments. They develop routines for the doldrums, preventing procrastination and bottlenecks.

2. They work in their strength. They have identified their talents and their gifts. They work easily because they focus on their giftedness. What we do best we do easiest. Likewise, they avoid their weaknesses. Productive people seldom waste time working in the areas of their weakness – it frustrates them.

3. They are challenged by their work. They look for something new to do, to learn, to experience. They don’t drive down dead-end streets. Their own creative interests open up opportunities that less engaged people miss. They see the potential, not the limitations.

4. They know they are making a difference. They do their work well, faithful to their employers and/or employees, are loyal, cooperative, and accommodating to change.

5. They are satisfied with their share of the money. Through the years in manufacturing plant operations, I have found it is more the distribution of the money than the amount that causes dissension. Money is important, but it is not the most important thing. Adequate money helps one concentrate on the work.

Fulfillment is personal. I am not trying to lay down a formula, but making observations. Fulfillment is doing what you can do well…doing something you feel is worthwhile…something with a continuing challenge and adequate financial remuneration, working on a team you respect, working in an environment where you are respected and encouraged, working with a product or service with integrity, and having peers who help you mutually create and enjoy a productive work environment.

This week carefully consider: 1) How do I define fulfillment in my work? 2) Who in my life truly represents fulfillment? 3) What did I do today to make a difference?

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