So I caught up with Vikram Bhambri from the Windows Azure team yesterday and we got talking about how to know if your day job was the right job?
He told me about a simple "scorecard" approach he used. It is broken into four task categories:
Heart: You love doing these things. You would do them everyday for free, they really embody the saying, "Love your job and you'll never work a day in your life".
Head: You do these things with your eyes closed. You don't love them, you don't hate them, they need to get done, you do them, that's the way they roll.
Star: These are the things you aspire to do. One day they will become your heart tasks. But right now, you'd just like to be involved in doing these things.
Skull and Cross Bones: You hate doing these tasks. You procrastinate, you postpone, you prolong, you get it! Enough of these and you suddenly hate coming to work.
I made up a quick example above. I love it! It's really interesting when you approach your job this way. I've been in roles where I just wasn't happy, but I never could put my finger on it. When you draw it out, you can visually see that if you have a job with lots of skull and cross bone checks, then you probably need to refactor the task list into something that is better balanced. At least then, you can determine what your new job should be.
I showed this to Franky later in the day, and he preferred a quadrant, that looked like this:
What does your scorecard look like?