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Maslow's Nine-to-Five

In this article I take Maslow's hierachy of needs and juxtapose it against our 9-5.

What would Abraham Maslow do? What motivates us, or me, to get out of bed in the morning according to this much-celebrated psychologist? I broke down each and did a bit of musings on each, note this is far from exhausting list of considerations. But it was a nice exercise to write down some thoguhts.

Physiological needs Self-Actualisation Minimum Viable Product User Delight

What does my perfect job look like? In my pursuit of happiness, I have to do a bit of work along the way.

Deficiency Needs

Let's start with the primary needs (deficiency needs). A job is an important part of life and enables us to fulfill our needs either directly or indirectly.

1/ Physiological needs – No job means no money, no money means no clean water, no food. Pretty basic stuff here, a living wage is essential. The Government talk a lot about the Living Wage and Boris about the London Living wage which currently stands at £9.40

2/ Safety needs – again no money, no home. But what is interesting here is many people will forgo the higher order needs through the anxiety of losing these basic needs. Some people might stick out a bad job to ensure they collect a pay cheque at the end of the month. For me however there is a drive to always be close to the edge, as a safe job is one where I am not growing. I suspect as I grow older and build my own family this will become a luxury.

Psychological Needs

3/ Social/Loving needs – You probably spend more time with your co-workers than you do with your spouse and children. Having a good team fit is so important. I like to work with passionate and open-minded people. In the work we do things change quickly, what you thought was right today is probably going to be wrong tomorrow. So it is important that people are not stubborn, embrace change and see it as learning and not a failure.

Having a good sense of humor doesn’t go amiss either. Site’s like the Muse give good company culture information. I even worked on a similar project with CareerBuilder called Company Reviews and of course, there is GlassDoor. They all give some insight into the working life of the people at a company and I would always read these before reaching interview.

4/ Esteem needs – Most people work their way into managerial positions or posts of responsibility. For me owning the product I’m working on would be important to me. I’ve been lucky enough in previous roles to be given independence and belief to do what I think is best. It’s something I certainly rate and believe people at all levels can be given varying ownership, without out it you don’t feel that important. I read a book by Seth Godin called Lynch Pin, and if your not one then it’s a great read.

Taken from a CareerBuilder TV Commercial, a great place to work

Fulfillment Needs

4/ Self Actualization More wants than needs probably but for people not happy with merely passing life by many of us are on the search of a role that will launch us into a higher echelon of flow. A place where we solve the world’s problems and feel content with our achievements. Striving to be the person top of the company or infamous within your industry might be a sign of success but may not lead to your own self realisation. For me, I think ultimately a role in some philanthropic business would probably be my last port of call. Somewhere I feel both empowered and privileged to do what I love doing.

5/ Some people have extended Maslow’s needs to include Transcendence Needs, essentially to help others achieve their needs. Teaching, mentoring and so are all things many of us do and from talking to many people we do it for no other reason than for the fuzzy feeling you get inside for helping someone else on their path. Companies like CareerFoundry let people experienced in UX mentor people remotely and that is a great way to get your fix.

One Last Thing

In conclusion, you’ll never get these things without real hard work. As Ty Lopez once said if you want a sure fire way of making loads of money, work really really hard and you just might. Whatever your aspirations may be, one thing you can be sure of is without hard work you’ll never get there.

Random Quote

If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y and Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut.

Albert Einstein