Sunday, November 22, 2009

No TGIFs Anymore

Is it T.G.I.F. too soon? If you haven’t heard about T.G.I.F., it means “Thank God It’s Friday” and it has been used in the American corporate lingo for a long time in the intention of mocking a boring and seemingly meaningless job. Today, we are lucky that more and more workplaces have dedicated their time in efforts for positive psychology in terms of jobs and profession. Basic human resource management would tell you that the higher the person feels his morale is, the better he will be in doing his job. As I write, more and more offices are being renovated and rebuilt to induce a juicier and a more fun workplace, so work doesn’t feel like work at all.

Together, we move forward into a society of people who truly love and enjoy what they do and at the end of the day, institutions accomplish their goals and we build a whole new culture of fulfillment.

In the field of Positive Psychology, work may be categorized into three groups: jobs, careers and callings. The first category is the “jobs”. These are the things which we spend a lot of time and effort on but our only motivation towards doing the work is merely salary. There is no passion; everything feels like manual labor. No work, no pay; and no pay, no work.
On the other hand, careers are the kinds of jobs with a mixed reward system: salary + advancement. In careers, there are goals to be met and there is the promise of prestige through dedication. People who dedicate themselves to careers often get promoted and with the same amount of devotion, they will eventually get to the top.

However, once they are already at the top, they won’t feel the same vigor and challenge anymore and the career will subsequently wither and turn into a (sigh) job.
The last category is the “callings”. As the name implies, it is a calling, a purpose which pulls you towards fulfilling its reason. The rewards are more internal and they provide meaning in our lives. Most callings require special talents or characteristics, like the ones involved in arts and literature. They motivate the individual through sheer being and you, as a worker, will feel like you can do the work without pay, promotion or other forms of compensation. Callings are the dream jobs.

When you find satisfaction in your job, you can easily turn it into a calling by finding the meaning in it and commending yourself for every successful task that you accomplish. Try to see what makes your work special and how you can also motivate other people to do better in what they do, or choose to do what you do. What is inside you, that you can relate to the work, that you consider a gift? You can easily see the difference between jobs and callings. For example, teachers who treat teaching as a job will be moody, inconsiderate and will talk to the students only about lessons and anything school related. But a teacher who considers teaching as a calling will give extra effort when making reports, have a special way to deliver lessons in class, and will treat every student like it’s his or her own child.

If you put some cheer and genuine dedication in the work that you’re doing, you will end up being a more productive worker and not long, you will receive recognition. Everything will look more vibrant when you go to work in the morning and the intrinsic motivation will continue to develop.

So if you’re already in a job that you’re happy about, kudos to you and continue to pour devotion into that job. Not everybody has their dream job under their noses. But then again, it’s always ALWAYS a matter of choice.

Lemme know what you think---

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