Gallup's Creating the Job You Love covers an interview with Shane J. Lopez, who has been researching people who love their jobs.
"I wanted to discover the attributes and behaviors that are shared by people who love their jobs. What I found was that these folks don't have much in common except they believe that they need to design and build their own jobs. When they're given a job, they think it's up to them to turn it into something they love."
Lopez points out that In addition to designing and building their own jobs, job lovers tend to do work that suits their interests and strengths:
"People who love their jobs make sure they're doing what they do best. They gravitate to opportunities within their job where they can put their talents and strengths to work."
He also points out one of the key attributes of a great job is autonomy.
The article focuses on traditional employees, but I was really struck with how much this correlates with our findings on highly satisfied self-employed workers.
The most satisfied self-employed workers consistently tell us that they love their jobs because they've created a job or business that allows them to:
- Do work they enjoy doing
- Control their schedule
- Have the autonomy to work how, when and where they want to
This maps pretty much exactly to what Lopez has found in his research of employees.
The one difference is the in the area of bosses. Lopez suggests workers focus on "boss shopping" and finding bosses that provide good work environments.
The self-employed, of course, are their own bosses so they have no need for boss shopping.