I set out to find a position with the title UI Designer. In today’s market, UI Designer really means UI Developer, which really means Web Developer, which, in turn, means Whatever We Have For You To Do Doer.1
To begin, I carefully considered all the factors that contribute to job satisfaction or dissatisfaction. They are, in order or priority:
- Good coffee
- Interesting work
- Compensation and benefits
- Reasonably quiet, comfortable work environment
- Laudable enterprise goals and ethics
- Did I mention coffee?
The surprise ending, though, is that the whole list of job satisfaction points that I so carefully compiled means nothing. Well, ok, not the coffee. But really, job satisfaction has little or nothing to do with office space or even compensation and benefits.
It’s really about challenge and accomplishment. You’ve got to have both of these. And in the right proportions. Too much challenge and you just feel frustrated all the time. Too much accomplishment is boring. The perfect balance is given by:
where A is some number having something to do with accomplishment, and C is some number having to do with … well, you get the idea. The point is that you need both. And you have to make it happen. Any job can start out great, but over time, as your skills and interests evolve, you’ll find ways to get involved in different things and grow into new roles.
And if you get stuck in a situation where you can’t do that … well, that’s why I started searching.