Finding the right place to work is neither simple nor easy. Several studies show that between 70 and 78 percent of us say that we are not fully engaged in our current job. Yet a healthy fit between employer and employee is critical to activating great performance and meeting our powerful human needs for connection to others, engagement, and contribution. When a company is the right work fit for an employee, everyone breathes a sigh of relief and basks in the joy of someone bringing their professional gifts to a company they jive with. People who are in the right job for them feel increased engagement, happiness, productivity, serenity, and joy. Healthy work fit exists, and it is worth pursuing.
The Work Fit Manifesto
- It is possible to feel engaged, happy, and valued at work.
- People are healthier in mind, heart, and soul when they feel satisfied in their jobs.
- Individuals who find the right job fit do better outside of work and help create resilient families and strong communities.
- Work fit varies based on time of life; needs change with circumstances.
- Organizations do better in all ways (profit, performance, quality, and mission) when employees are right for the work and the culture. Companies succeed when the people in them succeed.
- There is a place for everyone to thrive at work. However, what works for one person might not work for another. The fit equation is highly personal.
- A focus on work fit benefits people, organizations, communities, and the world.
- Fit matters. The global economy demands that people everywhere feel connected and relevant so that they bring their best work to work.
How to assess work fit
As important as work fit is, finding it for ourselves always requires a series of trade-offs, and there’s no such thing as perfect work fit. What makes sense today simply may not make sense tomorrow, and this very fact means we will be re-calculating the fit equation about our work situation many, many times in the course of our lives. That said, deliberately seeking work fit requires two steps
1. Rigorous Self-Awareness
On the quest to find an ideal organization for you, the best starting point is a long, hard look in the mirror and asking yourself, “What really matters to me?” Self-discovery is a lifelong process and for most of us, our learning and insight forms in layers, over time, as we mature and grow.
2. Honest, Thorough Assessment
Our research points to six interconnected elements of work fit that matter individually, as well as in conjunction: meaning, job, culture, relationship, lifestyle, and financial fit. People who are happy at work, love their jobs, and feel a high degree of work fit have at least three of the core elements working for them, and none of the elements is causing regular pain. Use the Work Fit Checklist (below) to figure out how your current position fulfills your fit equation, for now.
Don’t let yourself settle for a poor work fit. If you find that your current job isn’t satisfying you in multiple areas, you owe it to yourself, your community, and the world to acknowledge that and begin doing what it takes to find a better situation for you, either by asking for changes in your current position or looking for something else. To solve the complex problems facing humanity, we need the magic that happens when people are working in the right job at the right organization.
Moe Carrick is principal and founder of Moementum, Inc. a Certified B Corp consulting firm dedicated to the vision of creating a world that works for everyone using business as a force for good. She believes work can and should be a place where we can thrive. Her book “Fit Matters: How to Love Your Job,” co-authored by Cammie Dunaway, was released in May by Maven House Press.
Rachel is Conscious Company’s resident words wrangler, in charge of all editorial content. Before joining the CCM in April 2016, Rachel spent nearly 5 years as a print and digital editor on the award-winning team at BACKPACKER magazine. Her freelance writing and radio reporting has appeared in a variety of national publications, including Issues in Science & Technology, Yoga Journal, Paste Magazine, Pacifica Radio, and Wired, where she was a fellow in 2011. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction writing from Goucher College, studied linguistics and computer science at Duke University, and is a certified yoga teacher.