CAREER FITNESS: Career Strategies That Enable Job Satisfaction

By Maher, Robert J. | Career Planning and Adult Development Journal, Spring 2010 | Go to article overview

CAREER FITNESS: Career Strategies That Enable Job Satisfaction


Maher, Robert J., Career Planning and Adult Development Journal


Abstract

Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living... what make's us happy, be satisfied or enables us to perform effectively at an optimal level. It compels us to march forward under the banner of strength, rather than dictate our lives by the avoidance of that which we perceive to be weakness or negative information. It calls on us to be as concerned with strength as with weakness; as interested in building the best things in life as in repairing the worst things in life. The value of positive psychology is to complement and extend the problem-focused psychology that has long dominated our thinking and behavior. It enables us to influence that!

Several truisms provide the foundation, or basis of positive psychology: What is good in life is as genuine as what is bad. What is good in life is not simply the absence of what is problematic. Have you ever tried to define evil in objective, factual terms, without mentioning its "good" counterpoints? Yes, there is a difference between not being depressed and bounding out of bed in the morning with enthusiasm for the day ahead.

The good life requires its own explanation, not simply a theory of chaotic discord regurgitated with a positive spin. In the traditional job market, for example, the Department of Labor would have us believe that Corporate America controls the recruitment process and that the market is defined by requisitioned jobs getting filled with people that meet their requirements. But the whole market place is comprised of buyers and sellers that must interact to get work to happen.

A Complex, Chaotic System at Work

If there are not many links between employers and potential employees, the job market/ network is not very effective. If there are too many links everyone spends so much time communicating that they do not get to get on with the work available. As the number of links increases, there is a point where the effectiveness of the group increases dramatically.

If we take a working marketplace with many participants all linked and interacting heavily, and then remove participants (economic downsizing or outsourcing), we can test how effective the system remains. Often employers find that reducing staff does not make the existing work go away. We find that the system is remarkably resilient at first because surviving employees and contractors can take over the role of the lost employees. This means at first there is not much difference in effectiveness. However, as more and more employees are taken out, the system reaches a tipping point. At this point its effectiveness reduces suddenly as too many workers are missing and the remaining ones are finally overwhelmed. The system of productive work suddenly collapses. An employer can sustain serious economic change and continue to function surprisingly well, but if the damage reaches the tipping point, the disintegration is quick and dire economic realities may produce quite negative results.

The work market place then is quite fragile and unpredictable. It is a very complex, chaotic system, not unlike delicate eco-balances in our physical world. The tipping point also works the other way such as in trying to market one's self in the job market. Here we want to reach the tipping point. As any one industrial or functional market gains available workers and builds connections, it can eventually reach the tipping point. Suddenly sales take off. Sometimes we talk about reaching a critical mass.

A Systems Approach

Systems' thinking is a way of seeing the work marketplace as a web of interaction and linkages. The whole of it is more than the sum of its constituent industries and professional categories. Systems' thinking is critically important to solving career-oriented problems. It is the approach that allows a worker to move from seeing the world as a chaotic series of disjointed events, externally controlled by employers, to recognizing patterns of interaction and connection. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

CAREER FITNESS: Career Strategies That Enable Job Satisfaction
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.