I went to a London Human Resource Connection talk a couple of weeks ago. Well-attended and interesting stuff. The topic was “Does good work exist?” Most of the attendees were HR professionals (I was mostly there for the free wine) and the discussion naturally flowed around employment matters, work conditions, pay, benefits, etc.
My take on it was rather different. Good work does exist. Good jobs don’t. Why? Jobs are what they give you; work is what you make of it. Jobs are defined in the Job Spec (why do I want to set fire to myself when I hear that expression?). The Job Spec tells you what sort of machine the company is, what size cog you are, and how fast you need to rotate. Not inspiring.
The work, though, can be brilliant. As an employee, you are given the resources, the time and the scope to build relationships, such that if you want to do outstanding work, all day every day, you can. Or you can remain a cog.