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Would you volunteer for your job?

Would you do your job for free? Before you go telling me that no one in their right mind would do that, that no company would let you work for free (because of various legal and social implications) and that there are better things to be volunteering for, let me frame the question for you. You have no financial concerns. You and your family will be well taken care of for years to come. You have no need to make more money. And for the sake of this argument, let’s assume that you aren’t greedy and don’t just want to pile up as much cash as you can. Let’s also assume that your company will let you work for free. The question is: Would you volunteer for your job? Put another way: besides money, does your job provide enough benefits to you to make you want to continue to work there?

I believe this question reveals a good measure of your job satisfacton. Let’s face it, this world revolves around money and most of us need to work so we can pay the bills, eat food and have somewhere to live. But if you take money out of the equation, then what is left for you to be working for? The only thing left, and it can come in many forms, is enjoyment of the work. Working with a team, continuous learning, and challenging problems are all possible sources of enjoyment for some people. On the other hand, office politics, mindless busy work, and micro-managing are just some things that can make going to work a struggle to say the least. I’m willing to bet that most of us would just stop going if it weren’t for the money. There are way better things for us to be doing then sitting (or standing) in a steel and glass box for 8 hours a day making money for someone else.

If nothing else, thinking about this question for a few minutes will quickly show you how much satisfaction your job brings you. The time it takes for you to decide is also a significant measurement. If your answer to the question is a quick yes, then you are in a group of select individuals who find some significant non-monetary redeeming value in the work you do. That’s rare and you should count yourself lucky. If your answer to the question is a quick no, then perhaps it is time to start looking for new opportunities. Even if your answer is a slow yes or no, you should perhaps take a step back and determine exactly what you want to be getting out of a job. Perhaps your current job is not completely meeting those needs and you could do with a change.