I’ve always said a job needs at least one of two elements (and ideally both):
- it needs to be fun
- and/or be challenging.
But that’s not what makes my job click. There is more to a role than the above.
Engaging in intellectually stimulating tasks is very rewarding. I like to spend time-solving puzzles. I like challenges I haven’t faced before and trying to engineer my way to solve them.
Socialization is a key part of work. The workplace is a very significant space for relationships. The office is one of the spaces where I get to be most social (even if it’s also very draining). I need that socialization. Feeling like part of a team, contributing, collaborating, etc, are essential parts of my well-being.
Work facilitates security. Something I have come to appreciate more and more as I stepped into adulthood as a gay man, and realized I am responsible for caring for myself as I grow older. I am not scared of death, but I have respect for it and approach it with stoicism. I can’t change it, I just need to prepare for it. Money provides a standard of living today and security for retirement tomorrow.
Helping others is my main driving force behind being a manager. I started down the management path in order to unblock the rest of the team I worked with. I wanted to make the work experience as smooth as possible for them. I started taking ownership of more things, having conversations that needed to be had, mentoring junior people, etc.
Eventually, the opportunity to take on the manager role presented itself. This opened the door to big-picture thinking. I enjoy helping solve problems from a high level in a more holistic way.
Above it all, I care about designing products that put the customer first. User experience is a key principle of my work since I started. Strong conceptual creative work is another.