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Doctors who feel "called" enjoy more their work.

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by Driven Organization

A study by University of Chicago researchers of 950 U.S. primary care physicians attempts to understand the variables that affect their job satisfaction. They studied doctors treating difficult conditions such as nicotine dependence, obesity and alcoholism, which are some of the most difficult conditions to treat and therefore tend to lower job satisfaction. Their concluded that those who felt "called" to be doctors felt more satisfied treating these conditions, while those who were dissatisfied with their career felt significant less satisfaction.

  • Nicotine dependence:
    • Satisfaction of "calling" doctors 64%. 
    • Not "calling" doctors 46%.
  • Obesity:
    • Satisfaction of "calling" doctors 60%.
    • Not "calling" doctors 41%. 
  • Alcoholism:
    • Satisfaction of "calling" doctors 52%.
    • Not "calling" doctors 37%. 
See the study here

At the DrivenOrganization.com, we call it "Purpose." It is implicit in the reason why we chose to do what we do for work. Yes, we must eat and pay the mortgage, but all of us have the need to have a positive impact in our world too. Maslow added this set of needs at the top of his pyramid of needs at the end of his life. He called it "selfless actualization needs," and it refers to the need we have to influence our world positively.

How important is this need, you say? Consider that every year more than 60 million Americans devote more than a week worth of work to volunteer for positive causes. This need is, in fact, the one that drives successful professionals to leave their job for another where they can impact their world much more significantly. It may explain why people donate money, and often their entire fortune to good causes. It is why we come home, and although we may be tired, we still get out of the house to go volunteer on our chosen project.

Some organizations have a purpose for existence, a reason why they were created. While every organization must generate income to pay the power bill and the rent, some also have the purpose to cause a significant positive change in the world. What the specific purpose is depends on each of these organizations, but it is worthwhile to note that workers of these organizations often adopt the purpose of their organization and it becomes the fundamental way for them to solve this major need. This way, they do not need to go out of the house at 7 pm, tired to fulfill this need doing something that has nothing to do with their regular job; they can do it every day, every hour. This, not only increases job satisfaction and employee retention, but workers become much more engaged with the organization, which gets translated into a constant focus to improve and advance it. The impact is quite significant.

What are examples of organizations with a purpose? 

  • Hy-Vee's: To make healthy food choices available at affordable prices. 
  • Southwest: To make flying affordable, on-time and fun.
  • Wholefoods [summarized]: To help people live healthier lives through nutrition.
  • REI: Reconnecting people with nature.
  • Google: To organize and provide access to the world’s information
  • DrivenOrganization.com: To help people use work as a tool to lead a happier life.

Tags: job satisfaction, Purpose
Published on 16 Sep. 2012

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