Posted by: healingtheworkplace | July 19, 2009

How to Leave Your Lousy Job!

Hi there, it is around 3 pm on a sunny Sunday afternoon here on the Pacific West Coast.

Today I’ve been doing a little reading about “Good Work”.

I first came across this concept in the February 1999 issue of Utne Reader. The focus for that issue was Good Work: Find Your Way To A Job That Matters.

The cover section included an article on “breaking the job lock” and another one on “hot jobs”.  There was even an article called “How to Think Outside the Cube: 13 ways to leave your lousy job” which I will come back to in a minute.

Because “Good Work” was the main theme of the magazine I decided to do a “google search” to see what would come up.

I discovered that since 1995, when the Good Work Project was first conceived, researchers have been studying and writing about the notion of “good work” in professions and professionals.

This is a project or should I say collaboration between Claremont Graduate University, Harvard University and Stanford University.

“Good Work” in this context is defined as,

 “work that is at once excellent in quality, responsive to the needs of the broader community, and personally meaningful.”

Enjoying or experiencing “good work” is of course not solely the purview of professionals and I’m not exactly sure why this group was chosen for study.

Given the “right” circumstances any of us can enjoy “good work” and if fact it should be a basic human right.

Unfortunately there are millions of people in our world who are struggling to find work, any work, that will enable them to feed themselves and their families. In an ideal world these people would also have work that paid a decent wage and allowed them to live happy and dignified lives.

Unfortunately we do not live in an ideal world!

Closer to home thousands of people are looking for work. Fortunately for those of us living in North America there are some social safety nets and few people go without shelter, food and water.

And on the other side of the continuum we have people who are working–many with good paying jobs–who are miserable and given the “right” circumstances would gladly give up their jobs and do something else.  

Which brings us back to the article “How to Think Outside the Cube: 13 ways to leave your lousy job” by Jon Spayde.

The following 13 ideas are for people wanting to find or create “good work”:

1.  THINK BIG: You have a right to happiness and (this is what I tell my coaching clients) although big goals are hard work they have the power to motivate you to make big changes.

2.  BE PREPARED TO CREATE YOUR OWN JOB: The exciting thing about entrepreneurship is that it is not limited to developed countries. In fact helping people in developing countries to create their own work (businesses) is the only way to help them end the poverty cycle.

I did some research on this subject for a speech I gave at Toastmasters a few months ago. I was surprised by the results.

About 70 billion dollars is spent annually on aid to people in developing countries but the problem of poverty is getting worse.

 In fact although those of us in developed countries believe that we are doing good we are actually making matters worse. Creating dependency. Reinforcing the cycle of poverty.

Microcredit or micro financing began in the 1970s in India. It was created by an economics professor named Muhammad Yunus. Who, by the way, won the 2006 Nobel Peace prize for his work.

 In the 1970s Muhammad was frustrated by the poor conditions of the people living in the villages and their lack of access to small amounts of capital to improve their lives.

He lent a group of women basket weavers $5.00 each to buy supplies for their businesses.  This was the beginning of the Grameen Bank (village bank). Today the Grameen Bank provides over 2 million loans a year and 10,000 people graduate out of poverty every month through a self-help philosophy that maintains self-worth and dignity.

Now the Grameen Bank only operates in India but there is another organization–Kiva–that makes it possible for people in other countries to receive small (micro) loans.

If you want to learn more or to help out check out

Remember the Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Anyway, I think I used up enough of your time today. I will continue with the 13 ways to leave your lousy job later in the week.

Cheers! Lesley


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