We’ve partnered with TED speaker Tracy Brower, Ph.D., MM, MCR, for a Summer Reading Club – using her book Bring Work to Life as a guide. To dig in deeper, we’re answering your most pressing questions weekly on our blog. Here’s Tracy’s second response. See last week’s answer and sign up for our reading club.
How do I know if I’m satisfied with my current work and life integration? What questions should I ask myself?
It’s helpful to remind yourself that the responsibility is your own – not your employer’s or your family’s. And that’s really good news because it means we have the opportunity to make choices that foster our fulfillment.
Questions to ask yourself to evaluate your work-life satisfaction
- Are you inspired by a broader purpose – something bigger than yourself that you feel connected to?
- Do you feel that your work matters to that broader purpose?
- Do you feel like your voice matters in your organization? Can you give feedback to your leader, the people around you or the system?
- Do you feel challenged and stimulated? Do you learn new things regularly?
- Do you feel that you’re fully using your skills and talents? In what ways are they aligned (or not) with the work you’re doing?
- Do you receive feedback from your leader? Is it meaningful and helpful to you continuously improving?
- Do you feel valued and appreciated?
- Do you feel positively energized?
- Do you feel you can bring your whole self to work? Can you be yourself, share about yourself and express yourself?
- Do you have good relationships at work? Do you feel connected to the people around you?
- Do you feel you can succeed in both work and life?
None of these are yes/no questions. Generally, your answers will fall on a continuum – and will likely shift over time.
If you’re going through a difficult time, your answers may be less positive. If you’re feeling stretched on a particular project, you may struggle to feel perfectly fulfilled. And when you join a brand-new team or start a new project, you may be especially energized or go through a bit of a honeymoon period. These rises and falls are natural and expected.
Ultimately, it’s important to own the results of this thought experiment. If you’re not feeling a comfortable level of satisfaction, then you’ll want to decide what to do next. Can you make recommendations or change things in your current situation? Are there things you can do outside of your workplace or organization to enhance your satisfaction? If not, can you shift roles within your company? Or can you consider moving onto another organization? All of these choices are yours to own.
About Tracy Brower:
Tracy is a work environment sociologist, author, mother of two and Global Vice President of Workplace Vitality at Mars Drinks. She studies how humans affect their work-life and how it affects them back. Over her career, Tracy has had the opportunity to engage with many of the Fortune 500 companies.