What makes you really happy about your work? I ask this question during most of my interviews. Candidates feel surprised with the question and try their best to express what really makes them happy about work. I like to think that I ask that question so I can better understand them and, especially, what drives them. That way I can decide if they are a fit for what I’m looking for and, if so, how I can set them up for success from the get-go.
In reality, I ask that question because I don’t have an answer if I was asked. I simply don’t know what makes me happy about work. Things change so much that it’s very hard to predict what will make you happy one year from now. It’s even hard to predict what will make you happy one week from now. The world of technology is so volatile that literally anything can happen in a mere week. Companies are formed and gone in less time so why wouldn’t your happiness follow the same fate?
Are the challenges at work what really makes you happy? Is the ability to express your own voice and opinion what makes me excited about work? Is the opportunity to be around and help other people what really makes you passionate about what you do every day of the week? Is it a combination of all those things?
You would never know because every day is different and different things happen that make it easy to enter into a mood swing and potentially into a spiral of frustration. The way I cope with that is to have my own long-term goals and vision of what I want to be and where I want to go. Without that north star I wouldn’t be able to go day in and day out without thinking about all the little details that permeate your brain every single second.