Archive for August, 2015

WSJ: Feeling Stuck? Write Yourself a New Job Description

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

In the Personal Journal section of the Wednesday August 12, 2015 issue of the WSJ, Sue Shellenbarger wrote the article “Feeling Stuck? Write Yourself a New Job Description” which touches on a “sense of meaning and purpose” – thus connecting to this year’s YCISL workshop theme of Purpose. The article also mentions “intrinsic motivation” as a “hiring draw” for employers. This fits in well with what I have learned from Daniel Pink’s description about intrinsic motivation. The article also contains other YCISL keywords such as “coaching” and “fulfilling.”

The takeaway lesson from this article for YCISL is about the process of redesigning what we do – and to put this in the youth context. In the workplace, adults can discuss changes with supervisors – but the opportunities to do this are likely quite spread apart (e.g. at annual performance reviews) and need a good elevator pitch behind it (and a supervisor with the requisite understanding and influence). Focusing on youth though, we can develop YCISL exercises to practice the work redesign process – as training as well as in school or at home. What if our students could discuss a personal redesign with their parents, bringing up things that they really want to do and managing tasks that are less fulfilling? What if school counsellors actually took personal interest in students and discussed changes needed to heighten sense of meaning and purpose in school? What if schools tapped on intrinsic motivation to make education more intrinsically motivating?

For the YCISL workshops, we could add this as a topic (or a feature) to the elevator pitch exercise and have our students show emotional leadership to the idea they pitch.