Figuring out fulfillment is all about figuring out what kind of career life you want to create for yourself, right? Happiness doesn’t come from doing what you love alone. What about what you can expect from an employer? Environment matters.
Google invests a lot of effort and its copious profit into employee happiness. Though it may be unrealistic to expect Google standards – Wi-Fi shuttles to transport us to work, gourmet meals, and generous benefits like five months paid maternity leave – it’s not too much to expect to work for a good manager. Google collected feedback from employees and found they like working for managers who are good communicators and don’t micromanage. Obvious, maybe, but Google used the feedback to coach the poorer performing managers. All this effort pays off. Low attrition means lower hiring and training costs. Well run employee programs benefit the company offering them, not just the employee.
More than once I’ve heard a colleague relate they accepted a job thinking they were different because “they could get along with anyone” only to regret it later. They had heard rumors that the manager had a reputation of running people off, but they really wanted the raise that came along with the job. As you explore how you’re going to define your fulfillment, in addition to asking yourself what you want to do, don’t dismiss the importance of asking yourself where you want to do it and with who you will be working.