Can you make your job more enjoyable? Yes, you can! We refer to this as jobcrafting. All you need is a pen and paper as well as a clear view of your tasks and responsibilities. Let’s get started!
The ideal quadrant
In order to get started with jobcrafting, you must first determine your ‘ideal quadrant’.
Take a look at your job description and answer the following questions:
- Which tasks do you enjoy? Or don’t enjoy?
- What do you feel competent in? Or not competent?
Plot these two parameters on a four-quadrant diagram. The quadrant containing both ‘tasks you like doing’ and ‘tasks in which you feel competent’ is your ideal quadrant. In an ideal world, 85% of your tasks would be in this one. Is this not the case? Then you can start jobcrafting.
Time to negotiate!
The least ideal quadrant is the combination of ‘not competent’ + ‘no desire’. These tasks cost you a lot of energy. If you have too many of them, it can lead to pathogenic stress. These tasks should be negotiated with your supervisor and teammates. Maybe a colleague can take over or you can swap tasks? Or are you simply no longer the right person in the right place? In any case, you should preferably have as few tasks as possible in this quadrant.
Get out of your comfort zone
There are usually many tasks in this quadrant, and this makes sense. You start your job based on several skills and things you can do well. The environment expects you to do keep on doing this, but it does not give you any energy. In other words, you are in your comfort zone and experience little challenge. This is a pitfall for stress-related problems. You can solve this by organising your work differently or adjusting the context. Change your workplace, for example. Or do a task together with a colleague. These do not have to be major changes. Play with it and experiment.
For the tasks in this quadrant, the solution is simple: take training courses, ask for explanation, train yourself, and, in other words, ensure that you do become competent for these tasks. It is a good rule to spend 10% of your working time developing new skills within the same responsibility. It’s a good way to stimulate job satisfaction. Knowing that people tend to hold on to fixed habits, it is good to encourage yourself to take up these 10% challenges.
How do you keep your work exciting in the long run?
In the long run, it is wise to keep looking for ways to make your job a little more challenging for yourself. Do take your family situation into account, however. And take things step by step. Your energy level should not be impacted. You can compare your energy to a bowl full of sweets. If you take out too many sweets, the bowl is empty. Make sure you always have some sweets left. This is a balancing act. Again, 90% versus 10% is a good ratio: 90% satisfaction/stability versus 10% splurge/challenge. This relationship can also be applied to life in general as well as to relationships.