Just this morning, one of my clients called to tell me that his two nephews—one a dentist, the other an astrophysicist—can’t stand going to work each day…so they are quitting their jobs to take over their father’s very successful fireworks business in Baltimore! I kid you not.
Now, if you were to go to their mother’s FaceBook page, you would get a very different impression, one of a proud mother singing the praises of her boys, and rightly so…it’s no small accomplishment to become a dentist or astrophysicist!
But the misery these boys feel is quite common. Psychology Today, the Menninger Clinic, The American Management Association, and other eminent organizations estimate as much as 90% of the working population is not in their right work. And we all know that depression is now the #1 workplace disability in North America.
If you’re in this situation, it is not your fault!
We tend to do things because that is the expected thing to do. We’ve been told to go to school to get good grades, in order to get into a good university and get a good degree in order to get a good job and live a good life. We follow this formula.
Sometimes it works, much of the time it doesn’t. Why? Studies show that most individuals are motivated by extrinsic drivers early in their lives, i.e. to get a secure job, get married, raise a family—do what is expected of us. Nothing wrong with it.
What is true for university is true for trade school, the family business or the military—we conform to the norms of societal expectations, rather than finding out how our personal priorities and our public contributions can be combined through work to create a meaningful life.
But then life smacks us between the eyes—job loss, aging, divorce, death of a loved one, new values, new aspirations—and we start to question our values and priorities.
It’s just normal adult development after the age of thirty to re-order our priorities around intrinsic drivers, such as our deepest values and highest aspirations.
My client has no idea if his nephews—as a dentist and astrophysicist–have any skills or motivation to run a fireworks business! And neither does his brother, the father of these two men. They could run it into the ground for all he knows! But it hurts him, as a father, to see his sons so unhappy in their chosen professions.
That’s why my client told his nephews to sign on to my JOBJOY FOR LIFE™ Course. He wants them to take the time to find out now what they each have as natural strengths and motivations when it comes to work. This will increase their chances of finding job satisfaction and success in a fireworks business…while sparing their parents the misery of seeing their sons unhappy once again.