Career Advice: Joe Worked In A Prosthetic Testicle Factory. He Had A Very Bad Job.

Joe works in a prosthetic testicle factory with flickering lights. He hates his job but he didn’t know it. Like many people who owed hi soul to the company store.

In the movie “Joe vs. The Volcano,” Joe is told by his doctor that he has a deadly disease known as a brain cloud. So Joe goes on a quest to cure his insufferable brain cloud. Meg Ryan who plays the doctors daughter makes a profound quip, “My father says almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant amazement.”

Think about that. Which are you?

At the outset I receive countless emails daily not to mention calls from coaching clients who can’t wait to explain why they need to leave their jobs. Before encouraging anyone to arbitrarily quit their job and hang the proverbial shingle I encourage them to make sure it is the job and not them.

Over the years I have had numerous jobs. With a wife and children at home I remember a job where we tied rope to rubber boots cleaning the inside of oil tanks. I was fired from a job of packing eggs. I didn’t like getting my hands dirty. I wanted to now why I cthe worst years of my life. Below are several orientations developed by former BYU management professor C. Brooklyn Derr. The five “career orientations,” outlined tend to shift over time, depending on life circumstances:

Getting ahead. People who are motivated by upward mobility focus on promotions, raises, making partner, and increasing their authority. They’re competitive and willing to put in long hours and negotiate office politics to win those rewards.

Getting secure.  Those who seek regularity and predictability in their work environment are motivated to fit in with others and uphold group norms. They avoid risk and are less concerned with advancement than with career control.

Getting free. Derr describes people with this orientation as “hard to work with, impossible to work for, slippery as eels to supervise and manage, and infinitely resourceful in getting their own way.” People who value getting free want autonomy and self-direction. They have less tolerance for regulations, status reports, and other forms of bureaucracy than those in the “getting secure” camp. […]

via  Harvard Business Review



Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website

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