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What do you enjoy about your work life?

We spend a lot of time at work, but what makes it satisfying for us? In this video, people explain what they think makes their work enjoyable.
What I really enjoy about my work life is that I’ve got complete academic freedom to study what I like, what I find interesting and to work with the people that stimulate me intellectually. The things that give me the most pleasure in my research are when I’m working with a student or a postdoc or a junior member of my team, who makes a really exciting new discovery and that leads them to success in their career. The best thing about my job is working with people in the ground. I love cooking so that’s a big part of it. We get to cook up lots of food.
That’s so satisfying knowing that it would otherwise go in the bin and we’ve produced this delicious meal from it and fed hundreds of people. My work is exciting because my background is international development so whether it’s to do with my academic work and research, whether it is to do with my interaction with students or… for Ethiopia it’s all exciting, it’s all dynamic, it’s all changing all the time. One aspect of my job I like is if I give a public lecture I get a round of applause at the end. I, um… I love, firstly, being with my team. I work with a fantastic team of creatives.
We’ve been together a long time, I’m very very proud to be working with them. I enjoy both sides of my job, researching and teaching students and ensuring that my teaching is research led. I enjoy the fact that every day is different. Every day is a challenge, every day we have a different issue to look at or a different success to celebrate. We have a brilliant working team that is a joy to work for. The opportunity to work with a very wide range of customers from different countries and cultures but all with a common shared interest of improving things from an environmental perspective, which I feel very passionately about. My favourite thing about my job is probably making positive change.
You have flexibility so in terms of time it’s quite summery right now, it’s really warm. I can go and do all my reading outside right now, so that’s great and then also, I’ve got the flexibility to also go and have a really good work-life balance. So I can go dancing at night I can go to the gym in the daytime and still get all my work done. What I’ve been able to do recently is find a philosophy and social movement called effective altruism, which is basically using evidence and reason to determine the most effective ways to improve the world.
and through that community I’ve been able to meet great people and to find loads of great charities doing loads of great things. The license to question everything. So the thing I enjoy most about my time at Balloon is being able to solve problems. The thing I like most about my job is the variety. So every day is different, you’re researching different things and so it never gets boring. I really enjoy being able to do something I’m passionate about. I think that’s the thing, my research is something I care about. I really love doing it. I love that no two days are the same and I like getting creative and coming up with solutions that don’t already exist to individual problems.
It’s my passion, it’s what I love to do. I enjoy you know making progress and making a change to things and feeling that the contribution I’m making is making some sort of difference. I also enjoy the interaction with other people you know I think we’re social animals and therefore you get to meet a lot of people and that interaction is really important. For me the most enjoyable thing about running ‘No more Taboo’ is having the freedom to kind of, do what I want and I get to work from home most of the time, which is my most productive place. I work in bed.
So that’s one of the best benefits of kind of running your own organisation and being able to make decisions really quickly and and really see the effects of those decisions kind of straight away.

As we saw in the previous section, Dolan’s idea of ‘pleasure’ maps in our working life to ‘can we enjoy the things we do, and how we are doing them?’ Naturally, this is a personal question with different people finding different answers.

To some people, what they do at work isn’t as important as who they do it with. For others, the process doesn’t matter as long as they have a definite outcome to the work they do. What makes us happy and satisfied at work heavily depends on our personality, situation and stage of life.

Watch the video, think about how each person has responded to the question and add some a few thoughts to the comments.

  • What gives you enjoyment when you are working?
  • Were there any contributors in particular that you identified with when watching the video?
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