The co-director of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations speaks about the importance of the personal implication in our jobs to enjoy them. The key is to find a good job which combines the three E: “excellence, ethics and engagement”.
Daniel Goleman exemplifies this theory with a case very related to the actual crisis of Ebola. The fast expansion of the illness in countries such as Sierra Leona has a lot to do with some traditional customs such as kissing the deceased during the burial as a sign of respect. To solve it, a doctor, trained in the Therapy of Acceptance and Compromise, explained to natives the devastating effects of that innocent tradition, and, as an alternative, now they plant banana trees together with their deceased and kiss the fruit instead of the person.
The author listened to this case in a conference of Steven Hayes, one of the developers of the Therapy of Acceptance and Compromise in the Coaching Institute of Harvard. For Goleman, it supposes a magic mixture of doing what we do better combined with our principles, in a way we enjoy our work. So, it illustrates perfectly what the author defines as a good job in which we love what we do in every level: it makes us feel competent, gives sense to our efforts, and, definitely, makes us happy.
Though it is clear that in all jobs this feeling of compromise cannot be so evident, the American psychologist and winner of Príncipe de Asturias Prize in Social Sciences 2011 Howard Gardner, known for his theory about the multiple intelligences, indicate three main pieces of advice when starting a career or in the transition to a new one:
1. Decide what you really want to do, but not focusing on the concrete job you want to carry out, because the working outlook is very changeable. Once you know what you want to be, think about where you can perform it and be flexible to reach your goal, but do not give up into those aspects really important.
2. Think about those people you really admire and respect; then, think about those people who you do not want to look alike. Try to detect the concrete aspects you want for you and those you don’t. If you cannot do it, it is possible that in your surroundings there is no one worthy of admiration, or better, that the people you admire do nothing related to your activity.
3. Now, think about where you want to work and ask yourself if it is the place where you can see yourself reflected in the rest of the people and they reflected in you. Perhaps you prefer to earn less money in a little company of new creation, before working in a multinational company with an astronomic salary, but known for treating their employees unfairly.
If you are thinking of making a turn to your career, ask yourself the following: How much of the things you do now is a good job? What things could you do to elevate that percentage? And the last one, How could you develop your career to maximize that good job?
“If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well”