As human, we all are motivated to satisfy certain needs at different stages. The need for career stability has always been given utmost importance. Rightly so.
However, what are the limitation you should acknowledge? Since our jobs take up a significant part of our lives, it is befitting to exercise a little restriction to maintain physical and mental health.
What are the signs, your job is harming you, instead of doing you good?
Physiological Needs: Sleep
One physiological need that we often neglect is sleep. It’s not uncommon to have inadequate amount of sleep when we are rushing a project or clearing backlogs from work. But if we do it too regularly without respite, it will not only wreak havoc in your work, but also your personal life. Difficulty in concentration and being easily irritated are two common symptoms. Ultimately, the sleep debt will catch up to you and manifest itself in ugly ways.
In any case, so long as you say with all honesty that sleep isn’t affecting you too greatly, then it is probably alright. But if the lack of sleep becomes a chronic problem in your work, this might be an issue you would need to consider to find out if the job is suitable for you in the long run.
Safety Needs: Financial Security
I’m sure that all jobs can make us feel secure financially; some of us work so that we can get some income at the very least. I guess the question here refers to the more extreme cases of whether this particular job allows you to get by everyday without having to starve or having to live on the streets.
This is very important because if you don’t even earn enough for a living, chances are that you wouldn’t care about higher needs until you fulfill this first, and sadness kicks in when the job doesn’t bring you anything but food. So for every job, you have to ensure that you earn more than enough to not only feed yourself, but also enable you to pursue higher needs, or simply save the money to avoid financial crisis.
Love And Belonging: Work Culture
How much do you fit in with the vision and values of your workplace? Do you click well with your colleagues and boss? These are the questions that you’ll ask yourself to determine if your social needs will be achieved and belongingness is met. Sure, you can get by without feeling connected with the organization, but it might be hard to thrive if you lack the trust to work together as a team.
Some people may argue that they can still do their work well even if they are being hated by everyone else in the office. Well, that may be so, but they would’ve to find love and belonging outside of work. These could be their families and friends who support them. Or, in the worst case scenario, one might turn to using Facebook at the workplace to satisfy such need!
However, in my opinion, the workplace is gradually transforming into a place where solitude is likely to be frowned upon. Almost all jobs require contact with other people, and most jobs these days emphasize on teamwork.
So, ask yourself would the incompatible work culture be an issue and limit your potential to search for other needs up the pyramid?
Esteem: Respect & Achievements
According to the pyramid, it is not enough to gain self-esteem through achievements and confidence; you need also to respect others and earn others’ respect. A shrewd executive may have backstabbed several colleagues in order to climb up the corporate ladder, but he or she would not gain that self-respect, and definitely not respect from others.
In other words, this is how good you feel yourself to be in this job. First, you would need a supportive environment where you feel loved and belonged before you can be respected for your work.
Second, you need to have a job that empowers you to achieve and build the confidence within you. Interestingly, you will also be humble enough to respect others. Only then will you be able to reach this level of self-esteem. Respect for none other than you is an inflated ego.
Does this job give you opportunities to expand yourself and build up a healthy self-esteem at the same time? You would also need to ask yourself if you will eventually be good at what you do at work.
Self-Actualization: Doing What You Love
Ultimately, this is what many to as the key to happiness in life. This is the final stage where one would feel the ultimate life satisfaction and will be able to realize one’s potential at work. This is a rare occasion; less than 1% of adults actually attain this level of enlightenment.
If you manage to fulfill all the other lower level needs except for this one, then it is at the point in time that you have to consider where your passion lies in life. Given that you have a job that provides you enough money, good social relationships, personal achievements and respect from others, you need to find what you are meant to do. All of us are good at something, but do you love what it is that you do?
Keep in mind, it will take you time to fulfil all these needs. However if you been stuck at the same place doing the same thing, getting nothing in return, it is time to make some changes!