A good job is hard to come by. A great job is even harder to find, but when you do, you feel like a part of the fabric that makes up the organization. When you have a winning job your purpose becomes a lot more clear, and you have far more responsibility than punching a clock, following a set of procedures and collecting a paycheck.
The average person will go through five or more of career changes in their lifetime, and even more individual jobs. Some will be an ugly fit, many of them will be average, and if you are lucky one of them will be the perfect fit for you.
Finding the perfect match will require patience, hard work and effort. Often, it's a job just to find the perfect job, but when you do, the job will grow, change and mold as much to you as you do to it.
Here are 10 ways to know you have a winning job:
1. You are challenged. When you are challenged, you stay interested and rarely become bored. In theory, getting paid to do an easy job might seem like a nice idea, but challenging jobs keep you sharp, help stretch you to your full potential and help you to become a more confident person.
2. You are empowered. When you are empowered, you become a more creative problem solver, the quality of the work you do improves and your sense of ownership is increased. You feel like you are part of team, working in unison with others. Not only are you winning but your organization's customers are winning as well. When you are empowered, everybody wins.
3. You are rewarded for your creativity. Outside the box thinkers should be rewarded for their creativity. When you display creativity, you have a vested interest in helping to create new systems and solving problems. When you are creative you have a voice and are encouraged to participate. The reward does not necessarily need to be financial, but rather, just the fact that you are being recognized for your creativity is often times enough to make you feel like you are winning on the job.
4. You are compensated and recognized based upon your performance. Hard work should be noticed and although it's wonderful to feel like you are a part of the team, nothing beats a pat on the back, genuine gratitude and/or compensation for extra effort. That doesn't mean you should be expecting a bonus every time you burn the midnight oil or chip in to do an extra project. Having a winning job means your employer is aware and gives you two thumbs up for a job well done.
5. Your time is your own. Technology is on your side today and often times it's just as easy to do your job from somewhere other than at your desk. A winning job allows you some flexibility where, when and how you get your job done. If this is important to you, set a clear line of expectations with your employer so that you have flexibility on your side.
6. You are appreciated for both your efforts and your results. It's not just what you do, but how you do it, and if you have a winning job you are appreciated for not only the results but the methods by which you accomplish your job as well.
7. Mistakes are not your enemy, but rather, a mark of growth. Mistakes are bound to happen, it's what comes next that really counts. When you have a winning job, you are not admonished when you make a mistake, but rather, encouraged to help resolve the problem and develop new solutions. If you are encouraged to learn from the lessons learned from your mistake, you have a winning job.
8. You are part of a team that values, appreciates and acknowledges you. The sum is greater than the parts, and being on a team that is properly managed, will help bring out your strengths and allow you to become a more effective employee. When your team appreciates and acknowledges you, you will want to work harder, do a better job and feel more fulfilled.
9. Communication is two way, not one. Winning jobs provide an opportunity to have an open, honest conversation with your employer, without fear of losing your job or negative consequences. Job satisfaction increases when you know you are being heard.
10. You have the freedom to leave anytime, but don't want to. A winning job will have systems in place to train you so well that you should be able leave at any time and be their competition, but treat you so well that you would not want to leave.
In order for employers that create a winning job, they not only have to understand and work towards the goals of the organization, but they must take into account the goals of its employees as well, cultivating the whole person. Employers that understand their employees have lives outside the company truly have the opportunity to create winning jobs.
In the end, winning jobs create employees that want the best for the organization and its customers, a win for everyone involved.