The essential ingredients of a wonderful job…

Dennis Sparks

Some educators feel like they have the best jobs in the world. Others find that their work drains rather than sustains them.

In my experience, “best jobs” have several essential ingredients:

• A compelling, stretching purpose that demands the best of us and our colleagues each day,

• Talents that are well used and continuously developed,

• Clear expectations for performance,

• Open and honest communication with colleagues and supervisors within trusting relationships, and

• Colleagues who support and challenge us as they encourage us to bring our best selves to work each day.

What have I missed?

11 Responses to “The essential ingredients of a wonderful job…”


  1. 1 whatedsaid January 14, 2015 at 5:56 am

    Autonomy.
    Learning opportunities.
    Shared vision.

  2. 2 Dennis Sparks January 14, 2015 at 6:02 am

    Great additions, Edna! Thanks…

  3. 6 edcoaching January 14, 2015 at 9:48 am

    The ability to have fun together. The fun for me is usually while engaged in the work itself, not extra activities, but laughter and genuine enjoyment of the company of those I work with will keep me motivated!

  4. 8 Kari Fisher Gibson January 14, 2015 at 11:08 am

    You nailed it as for the essentials. There are other ‘nice to have’ and individualized characteristics, but when I think about my best job ever this captures it.

  5. 10 learningforwardstephanie January 16, 2015 at 10:08 am

    In addition to clear performance goals/standards; individuals value some autonomy with strategy and resources

    I also wonder where feedback is located in this list.

    • 11 Dennis Sparks January 16, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      Hmm. Good question, Stephanie. “Knowledge of results” certainly contributes to improved performance, and it makes sense that a feeling of competence would cause us to enjoy and appreciate our work. I’m curious what other readers think.…


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