The Three Signs of a Miserable Job

In the book “The Three Signs of a Miserable Job”  Patrick Lencioni outlines that many working people are in a miserable job. In this post I want to share the basic idea behind his book.

The cost of people not liking their job is staggering. Productivity collapses greatly when employees are unfulfilled. It does not end at work. There is also a great social cost. Even emotionally mature employees share their work misery, frustration, cynicism, weariness into the lives of others. It becomes impossible to appreciate the joy of life. The emotional and psychological damage can be profound and irreversible.

The following three factors will make any job miserable. They seem obvious and maybe even easy to resolve. However, they remain unaddressed in most organizations.

  1. Anonymity – People need to experience that they are known for their work. We need to feel understood and appreciated for our qualities by someone in an authority position. When we don’t feel heard or think we are invisible, generic or anonymous within the company we will not love our job.
  2. Irrelevance – We need to know that our work matters to someone. When we cannot make a connection between what we do and someone else’s satisfaction we simply won’t find lasting fulfillment in our job.Someone needs to appreciate it and we need to know about it.
  3. Immeasurement – It is important that we can gauge our personal progress and contribution. We cannot be fulfilled when our succes depends on the opinions or whims of another person. Our motivation heavily depends on our ability to self assess success or failure. When we perceive that we cannot control our own fate our motivation quickly deteriorates.

Patrick tells us that we will feel miserable with even one of these factors present. What I read is that we our job needs to be meaningful to us and that we need a way to know how we are doing. How about you? Are you in a miserable job? How can we take ownership of these three factors?

Skype Premium – Is it worth it?

I make regular international calls to both land lines and cell phones. Additionally I heavily use video conference calls with often five or more participants. This combination seemed to make it worth an experiment with a one year Skype Premium subscription. I was well aware of the Google Hangout alternative at the time, but I had not yet ran into many business people using a Google account..

Some context

I think it is relevant to know that I have a business internet connection with a bandwidth of 150 Mb/s downstream and 15 Mb/s upstream. I have been using this internet service for many years now and seldom found my internet connection to be the cause of trouble. For those occasions where my connection was the problem, I have an SLA that assures it gets fixed without hours.

About video conferencing

I can be pretty direct about this. Besides that Skype Premium claims that you can have video calls up to five people I can’t say it ever worked properly. This was the biggest disappointment right from the start. It is clear that a good video call depends on the quality of the connection of all participants, but I did not expect it not to work at all most of the time. Even when those with a poor connection limit the call to just voice, it did not work properly for me.

Phone calls

Phone calls to any of the countries, even cell phone calls, work fine. Even calls to India that regularly can be a challenge have always worked out fine for me.

The final verdict

This won’t be a surprise. The answer is: “No”. I have cancelled my subscription during the subscription period. Besides that I have tried to convince business people to use Google Hangout with reasonable success. Google Hangout is also not perfect, but if you rely on video conferencing for collaboration like I do, it is a much much better alternative to Skype Premium. And the best thing is, it is for free!