What Your Hobbies Can Teach You About Your Job
- Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
- Monday, October 10, 2022
What do you do for fun? Let's assume that your choices of recreation are exactly that, your choices. Nobody foisted them upon you and you don't have your hobbies out of some kind of financial (or other) obligation.
Considering these points, it's safe to assume that your hobby is a genuine and honest reflection of what makes you happy. It might be limited due to financial constraints (you really want to test drive Lamborghinis in Dubai but can't afford the airfare and lodging) or physical limitations (you've always wanted to climb mountains but are afraid of heights and the ligaments in your knees are weaker than wet noodles), but otherwise you're doing what you want to do.
Beyond those hard limitations, let's assume for the sake of argument that your hobbies and recreational activities are at least 90% of your happiness scale.
Now, what do you do for a living? How far up your happiness scale is your job? How much of your occupation is deliberate, intentional, and by choice?
When it comes to hobbies, most of us are limited by financial concerns. When it comes to work, most of us do it for the specific purpose of meeting financial needs.
Our occupation isn't limited by money, it's usually the reason for it.
Most of us have a job that is a mix of choice and obligation. We may have pursued the overall career path but the specifics of where we work and what we do on a daily basis isn't necessarily by choice. We mentally adjust to this reality by reminding ourselves, "I don't sweat the small stuff because overall I'm happy with my job." (Hopefully)
My own father had a very philosophical view of his job. He worked in a basement workshop as a sheet metal worker for a local power company. It was hard work in a gray and dusty environment, and other than having the satisfaction of a job well done (he was a true craftsman), it wasn't very enjoyable. When I asked why he was willing to work there, he said, "My job itself leaves a bit to be desired, but it allows me to do the things at home that I truly enjoy."
My dad's job was a means to an end and little else. Is yours?
Personal Happiness and Job Satisfaction
In your own life, what can you do to bring more choice and happiness into your job? With your hobbies, you are making choices that instinctually line up with what makes you happy. What makes you happy is instinctually lined up with your innate emotional hardwiring. It is a reflection of your personality's DNA.
If you took an accurate personality test and compared its results to what you like to do for fun, there would likely be a lot of overlap and alignment between the two. The test would say, "This is how you are hardwired," and your hobbies would say, "This is what I like to do." You would likely discover a lot of similarity.
Why not do the same with your job? Take an accurate personality test like the Core Values Index™ psychometric assessment and compare its results to the things you do as part of your job. Visualize a sort of Venn diagram and see how much the two sides overlap. How much of your occupation gives you the opportunity to tap into your personality and what makes you happy?
At eRep, many of our clients are companies and organizations who have their employees take the CVI. They review the alignment between the worker's psychometric profile and the needs of their role. Adjustments are made where feasible. These adjustments may be as simple as adjusting small tasks or the tools the employee uses to do their work. Other times the employee may make a lateral shift into a completely different role, a role more suited to their hardwiring.
As an individual, there are things you can do to make your job more satisfying when you take the CVI. Look at the ways you approach your tasks. You may still be required to produce the same result but perhaps you have the flexibility to get there in a different way. Discuss with your supervisor the areas where your psychometric profile aligns and misaligns with the requirements and methods of your job duties. Find a better way to reach your objectives that suits how you are hardwired.
Talk with your supervisor about your company implementing the CVI in your department or across the entire organization.
When you line up your job duties with your psychometric profile, you will be happier in your work and you will also be more productive. Both you and your employer win when this alignment occurs.
Take inspiration from how you enjoy yourself on your own time to find ways to better enjoy what you do at work. There is a lot your hobbies can teach you about your job.
Core Values Index™ and CVI™ are trademarks of Taylor Protocols, Inc.
Go to eRep.com/core-values-index/ to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.
Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (ruckerworks.com), and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.
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