7 Essential Elements of a Job

job search Dec 11, 2020

Do you remember playing with those books that had separate flaps for heads, shoulders and arms, stomachs, and legs? You could create a different looking character by flipping the flaps: a head of a fox, with the shoulders and arms of a woman, and the legs of a fish. These books can help you understand your job better.

People who are displeased or unsatisfied with their job, or find themselves having to look for a new job, typically consider only 3 elements in deciding the new course they wish to pursue. Thus, many find themselves in a worse situation. I suggest that you consider 6 essential elements to determine how happy your next job will make you. As you change each element it modifies the overall job significantly.

The 7 Essential Elements

  1. Purpose you wish to accomplish
  2. Job title or job responsibilities
  3. Industry of the organization
  4. Size of the organization
  5. Ownership of the organization
  6. Location: geographic and
  7. Culture of the organization

Purpose of Your Work

People work for different reasons. Some maintain a job orientation focusing just on the job they currently possess or the next one they want.  Others maintain a career focus seeing their occupation as a series of jobs each one leading to a better rung on a determined path. Some perceive a calling to their work. They work to a higher purpose regardless of the path. Typical callings include improving the environment, caring for animals or endangered species, economic development among disadvantaged populations, or investing in undervalued companies and bring them to their highest potential. Ponder your purpose in work.

Job Title or Job Responsibilities

In the past similar job titles extended across most organizations in the world. Managers did similar things throughout the world. In fact, most companies took their job titles from the Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Today, organizations delight in defining unique job titles to label their jobs: geeks, genius, and gurus.

Consequently, you may need to look beyond a job title to understand the responsibilities and tasks you will perform. So, decide how you will define this element: either as a job title or responsibilities.

Industry of the Organization

The industry of the organization changes the job title. For example, consider how the role of a manager differs as the industry changes from banking, to manufacturing, or to food service. Typical industries include:

  • Food service and restaurants
  • Retail and storefront operations
  • Manufacturing, Utilities
  • Construction
  • Healthcare & Dental
  • Finance, banking, insurance
  • Professional and technical
  • Transportation, warehousing, logistics
  • Advertising, marketing, public relations, and media
  • Software, information technology, publishing

Size of the Organization

The size of the organization also modifies the nature of the job and the industry of the organization. Staying with our previous example consider how the job changes if the organization is a startup of one person, a small business, or a national chain.

Large organizations tend to put people in small organizational boxes with limited duties and impact. Smaller organizations cannot afford such small organizational responsibilities. Employees tend to cover multiple facets of the organization with broader impact.

  • Organizations can typically be divided into the following size definitions:
  • Startup: 1-4 employees and $0-$50,000 revenues
  • Small business: 4-50 employees and $50-$500,000 revenues
  • Mid-Size business: 50-250 employees and $500,000-$3,000,000 revenues
  • Big Business: 250-5,000 employees and $3,000,000-$150,000,000 revenues
  • Global Business: 5,000+ employees and $150,000,000+ revenues

Ownership of the Organization

  • Ownership also affects the overall feel of the job. Typical ownership includes:
  • Stockholder ownership describes large corporations help by people who buy stock in the company
  • Private ownership: includes an organization owned by an individual, family, or partners. Private ownership does not denote size. For example, a small mom & pop operation or a global company can still be privately held.
  • Self-Ownership: means you have decided to start your own business
  • We the People: own our governments and quasi-government organizations
  • No Ownership: legally non-profit organizations cannot have any ownership

Location

  • Geographic: Continent, Country, State, City, Virtual
  • Locale: Metro, Urban, Suburban, Rural

Culture of the Organization

  • Management Styles: Laissez-Fair, Autocratic, Participative, Transactional, or Transformational
  • Physical: rows and columns of desks, individual small cubes, bullpen cubes, offices, open, home, car
  • Written and Unwritten Rules: highly defined, loosely defined, undefined, alligator pits, toxic

Just as each panel would change the appearance of the picture in those childhood books, you can change your job satisfaction by changing one or more of the 6 essential elements of a job. Consider which of the 6 essential elements you want to change to increase your satisfaction and reignite your purpose, passion, and profits.

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