Why does your job suck? (And how we want to help)

I know a few people who love the work that they do.

I mean genuinely love it. As in, they would absolutely do it for free if they weren't fortunate enough to get paid to do it.

Those lucky few are just that…a few.

The kinds of reports that are published by smart people who study this stuff suggest that more than two-thirds of employees are disengaged at work. Now, this disengagement can be attributed to any number of causes. (A good summary of those reasons can be found here.)

Whatever the cause, the natural (human) response is to pull back. Just a little. So, you withdraw that last bit of effort. You stop going the extra mile.

If the above stat about levels of disengagement is correct, it means that at some point in our working lives most of us will find ourselves in a job that is receiving a fraction of our skills and talents. If you find yourself in that position, it could be because the environment you’re in doesn't want or need what it is that you have to give. Or, it could be because you've decided that the company / role is not deserving.

Either way, you’re not in a good place.

I've been there.

It sucks.


The important question is: What do you do about it?

You could just stay and choose to settle for less. But this is a cop out. You owe yourself more than that.

“Mediocrity is a mismanagement of your innate human potential” — Benjamin Hardy

Try as you might you’re not likely to turn that ship around. It has nothing to do with effort. It has nothing to do with talent. You’re just stuck in the wrong place. You are screaming (sometimes literally!) for a change.

Scattered bodies

Scattered bodies

So, let’s say you decide to look for another job.

You update your CV.

You search the job ads.

You reach out to your network. (LinkedIn helps.)

You talk to recruiters.

Yet, that kind of traditional approach to finding a job will probably revolve around your work history and the technical skills you've picked up along the way. It’s all about what you've done.

Keep that in mind for a moment.

Remember those reports published by smart people I mentioned at the outset? Well, they’ll tell you that employees are rarely dissatisfied or fail to thrive in roles because they lack the necessary technical skills. It happens because of a mismatch between their innate motivations and attributes and the specific needs of the job.

It’s not about what you've done.

It’s not about which degree you have or technical competencies that you've acquired.

It’s about who you ARE.

If you’re a young job seeker, this poses an even bigger problem. (And not just because you've barely had the time to understand yourself yet.) It’s a significant problem because the world of work is changing so quickly. You’re told that over the course of your career you can expect to have 15 jobs…minimum.

Oh, and by the way, 10 of those jobs haven’t even been invented yet.

If the economy, the way we work and the types of jobs that we work at are changing so rapidly, how does the traditional approach of looking backwards at what a person’s done help to place them in a role that’s just been created?

How can job searches based on your CV, or keyword searches conducted by a recruiter or hiring manager, be expected to work in this environment?

The answer is simple…they can’t.

On the flip side of this wave of worker disengagement is the employer. Businesses continue to complain that they can’t find candidates with the right skill sets. It takes time and money to look for staff. The costs to your business when you get it wrong are enormous.

Unfortunately, the normal channels can be pretty hit and miss. Too often, traditional approaches to recruitment consistently fail to fill vacancies with candidates who have the right attributes to make them successful.

It’s not because those people don’t exist, are in a witness protection program somewhere, or simply aren't interested in learning about new opportunities. It’s because of the way that we currently look for them. Traditional approaches typically fail us on a couple of different fronts:

1. They don’t help us to better understand the needs of the role. What is the make-up of the ideal candidate? What are the factors that are going to determine whether or not an individual is successful?

2. Even if you do happen to ace No. 1, how do you go about finding the right person? They want to find you, but too often the dots don’t connect and the match is never made.

For the whole “find the right job” + “hire the right person” equation to improve its hit-rate, it seems to me that the process should tackle these two issues.

We want to help with that…and here’s why.

For some of us at skillfox, it’s about creating a practical way of helping people reach their true potential, rather than wasting their lives working in a job that’s slowly eating away at their soul. For others, its because we’re passionate about thinking differently and the challenge of solving big hairy problems sends us running to our happy place.

Whatever our individual reasons for being here, we’re going to take the opportunity to post about how work is changing, the types of new roles that are out there, the best companies in their fields and generally wax lyrical about work in the 21st century. There will be practical tips, serious thought pieces and more than a sprinkling of stuff that is so funny your spleen will be doing the cha-cha. (Disclaimer: your spleen will not actually do the cha-cha.)

So, whatever your motivation for reading this, we hope to give you plenty of reasons to subscribe, follow and share alike.