Friday, 6 April, 2012

How to decide whether the job is great ?





I wanted to enter academics, and that is the reason I applied for research program at XLRI. The interview committee tried to probe, why I want to switch to teaching community from a comparatively high-income career. I think my answers convinced them.

But the question still keeps lingering in my mind. And often, I hit new theories , that convinces me again and again - that yes it is one of the best choice I made for myself.

You have the best job in the world, if you have inner inspiration to do it. And this inner inspiration, a mental state to a specific job is the result of three critical states. First, is the job purposeful, meaningful, second, whether the job gives you sense of ownership, and lastly do you see the effects or results of job.

A model in Organization behavior gives you five hints to look at the job aspects, and conveys whether the job has these three critical states so as to make it intrinsically motivating (ref. 1).

First is variety of skills, abilities that job activities demand. It is rightly said that teaching is one forth preparation and three forth theater. There is so much variety in teaching. Presentation, effective speaking, persuasion, motivating, and coaching, mentoring, thinking about innovative and new ideas to make lively classes the list is endless. No wonder they call teaching as a performing art.

Second is task identity, whether the task is whole identifiable. In majority of cases faculties are fully responsible for course design, choosing textbooks, delivering and even assessing the courses.

Third is task significance, how much impact it is making in the life of others. Teachers are always regarded high in Indian society. If we consider typical MBA curriculum, learning “people skills” are of paramount importance to any manager, whether his specialty is materials or finance. So no wonder Organizational behavior (area of my specialization) is one of the most important subjects for all MBA’s.

Forth is autonomy, the extent to which one can decide routine details like scheduling, process etc. Now within one’s own class, teacher has full autonomy about what sequence of topics to follow, how much time to allocate to individual concepts and use of variety of pedagogical tools to teach them.Thus giving him the sense of ownership of the class.

Fifth and last is feedback on his/her performance. Though there are formal channels available to students to give feedback. Faculty gets this feedback instantly. As soon as he is half-way through the class, he can figure out, where the students are with respective to the topic he is teaching. Whether he is convincing or confusing?

So next time you are thinking of any job , check where it stands with respective to these five parameters.

- Image source : http://vafamilyconnections.com/images/good%20job.jpg

- 1 : Theory refereed here is : Hackman and Oldham's Job characteristic Model.