The vast majority of people seem fine with being told what to do, how to do it, when it needs to be completed, etc. If this were not true, most people would leave their situation for another opportunity. The fact is most people don't work well outside their comfort zone. Combine that with the pressure of financial and family obligations and we have a society of people who will tolerate a job they hate. Interestingly, many research studies also indicate that the current generation of college graduates entering the workforce see themselves in a position for only a short time and feel no pressure to stay at any one position/company if a better opportunity is made available to them. These Millennials believe job-hopping is the key to growth and happiness. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than half of all 20- to 24-year-olds had been with their employer less than 12 months.
While this job-hopping approach may not work as well, particularly in this current economic downturn, with so many qualified and experienced employees seeking work, the take-away is that you always have the control to create a better experience for yourself.
Manage your time
Most companies advocate time management to employees, but their purpose is to make the company more efficient and profitable. But we can't forget personal needs. I am not aware of any company's time management processes that include things like “spend time with your family.”
What you need to do is utilize time management in both your work and personal life. Many books about happiness cite the need to have balance in life. Create a time management plan that takes into account all the things that will make you happy and satisfied. The hard part is making the time to follow through on these things.
Don't forget hobbies. Hobbies are like jobs that we get to do on our own terms. We get to set the expectations, how much money and time to spend doing it, etc. Whether playing golf, watching football, building sand castles, whatever, it's our time.
Never has technology become more accessible to the general public. Years ago we were forced to design and build custom devices. This necessity was probably the most satisfying part of the job — seeing something you created, working flawlessly and solving the problem.
Even in a networked environment there is always a need to fix, modify or create something. The choice of hardware and software tools is almost limitless and so is your capacity to home-brew new solutions that will be far more fun and personally rewarding. As an added bonus, you will learn new skill sets that can make a transition into a new career easier. That goes a long way to controlling your own destiny.
The radio industry, like so many others, has gone through huge changes in the way business is done. Take a few steps back and look at how the change has impacted you and how your level of job satisfaction has changed over the years. You may see that proactively balancing your life with work will ultimately help bring some of the fun back into radio.
McNamara is president of Applied Wireless, Cape Coral, FL.