Work satisfaction – find your flow

by 8 Sep, 2015Career Planning0 comments

Work satisfaction – find your flow

Dream Job

Today’s post deals with the topic of work satisfaction. It is part of Step 2 in our career planning process which is exploring your career options as part of an overall process for career planning.

If you’ve just joined this series of posts, you might be interested in going back to where we started.

So….why all the attention of exploring your career options?

The main reason is that many people have a hard time generating new options and alternatives to what they are currently doing.

Identifying your career options is a very important step. For reasons I’ve previously mentioned, the more options you identify regarding a future pathway, the better.

So, I want to give people access to as many tools and ideas as I can to help them to generate lots of ideas for future directions.

Today, in particular we will look at a concept called “flow”.

What is flow?

The concept of flow was developed by positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – look up google to find out how to pronounce this. The phonetic pronunciation is something like CHEEK-sent-me-hi-ee.

I have found this to be a fascinating subject, and I suggest if you want to learn more, read more about it in his book “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience”.

Also, take a look at his video presentation below.

Csikszentmihalyi describes flow as being a state of ecstasy. It is closely associated with very high levels of creativity.

The state of flow is a highly pleasurable place to be.

When you are in flow……which is really all about being absolutely engaged in what you are doing, don’t have enough attention left over to monitor how your body feels.

For example, it simply doesn’t register if you are tired, hungry, thirsty and so on. You are also so engrossed in what you are doing that problems and challenges you might be having in other areas of your life don’t  register in your conscious thinking while you are in flow.

People who are in flow often describe it as feeling like they don’t exist.

So pleasurable and engrossing is what they are doing, they literally have no attention left over to think about themselves, and feel as if they exist.

Flow and your level of work satisfaction

I love my job textThink for a moment if you had a job, or were involved in doing work which regularly took you into the flow state.

You would probably therefore say that you experience high levels of work satisfaction.

So how to find a career, or job where you can regularly experience flow state?




Watch this short video as Csikszentmihalyi explains a little of his theory.


How is flow achieved?

The theory of flow explains that three conditions need to exist:

  1. A person must be involved in an activity with a clear set of goals and progress. This adds direction and structure to the task.
  2. The task at hand must have clear and immediate feedback. This helps the person negotiate any changing demands and allows them to adjust their performance to maintain the flow state.
  3. A person must have a good balance between the perceived challenges of the task at hand and their own perceived skills. The person must have confidence in their ability to complete the task at hand.

How to find a job or career where you are in flow?

In my opinion it is entirely possible for you to choose a career path, job or occupation which can take you into the flow state.

How can you do this? Here are some first steps to take:

  • Identify your strengths. What skills and knowledge do you love using most? Find an occupation where you can use these.
  • Fully understand other parts of yourself. For example, what type of work are you best suited to do based on your personality? Find work related to that.
  • Identify your values. Find types of employment, and employers where you can fully express your most important values, and/or where these are supported by your employer

You will recognise that these activities are all dealt with in  Step 1  of the career planning process

Work satisfaction and your experiences with flow

Please share in the comments section…….

Work satisfaction is something I regularly experience, and I am very familiar with being in a  state of flow……often to the frustration of my wife!

If you have also experienced flow, please share your experiences in the comments section for this post.  I’d love to hear about how, and why you think this happened.

In the meantime, may you always experience flow……it’s a pretty nice place to  be!



Share This