Saturday, July 8, 2017

This is No Ordinary Job

This is no ordinary job. This is your #dreamjob.

Human happiness never remains long in the same place.
                                                                                     — Herodotus

With the success of socially conscious companies like Apple, Google, Whole Foods and Salesforce, Millennials' expectations of finding a dream job have risen.

A recent
Harris Poll, in fact, shows 8 of 10 Millennials think they can find one.

I was hired for my first dream job under false pretenses.

The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf hired me as its publications clerk in the belief I wore hearing aids when, in reality, I wore band-aids.

It was 1974, the year of gargantuan eye wear, thanks to Sir Elton John, and my fashionably oversized specs were so heavy they irritated my auricles, making it necessary to wear band aids for relief. But to the association's HR folks, they looked like hearing aids.

The job was a dream job because, after a long series of outdoor gigs, it was my first experience working in an air-conditioned office. Washington, DC, is sultry much of the year; the Alexander Graham Bell Association was a 65-degree nirvana.

I was lucky, because, as the Harris Poll indicates, most Boomers, unlike their Millennial counterparts, don't expect to find a dream job (the same holds true for Gen Xers). They're dubious. Millennials, by comparison, are like overeducated Don Quixotes, rejecting home and hearth and questing instead for the perfect job.

The Harris Poll also indicates how workers define a dream job. Among those who hold one:
  • 91% say they know what's expected of them
  • 83% say their work matters
  • 73% say the job is rewarding and
  • 70% say the job taps their greatest strengths.
While many considerations—from compensation, security and opportunity, to mission, culture and location—help define a dream job, it's noteworthy that defined outcomes—the key to sustained organizational growth, according to Gallup—tops the list.

Perhaps no other job in history had more carefully defined outcomes than that of "Keeper of the Royal Rectum," the consultant on colonic matters to the Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt.

The Greek historian
Herodotus said the Ancient Egyptians were obsessed with purging themselves "by means of emetics and clysters, which is done out of a regard for their health, since they have a persuasion that every disease to which men are liable is occasioned by the substances whereon they feed."

And if that job lacked for advancement opportunities, there was also the "Groom of the Stool" in King Henry VIII's court—another dream job.

Unless you hate paperwork.
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