There are many ways to do satisfying work that earns a salary. One approach is to follow the old advice of ‘Find a need and fill it.’
Some people say this approach needs to be extended. They say it is important to focus on what people want, rather than just what they need.
Sometimes even the ‘want’ approach can be extended. Some new inventions, for example, can also open people’s eyes to what they want. Henry Ford may or may not have uttered the famous phrase, but there is some truth in the view that:
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
Bearing these factors in mind, one approach is to focus on the following kinds of needs.
The needs that people have at the moment.
The needs that people may have in the future.
The needs that people may not even know about but, if these are filled, then their lives may be even more satisfying.
Looking back on your own work, can you think of a time when you saw or anticipated a need and filled it? You may have done this when doing project work or providing some other product or service.
What did you do to see or anticipate the need? How did you position what you offered in a way that was attractive to the potential buyers? What did you then do to satisfy the need?
If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.
Describe a specific situation when you saw or anticipated a need and then filled it.
Describe the specific things you did to see or anticipate the need and then fill it.
Describe the specific things that happened as a result of taking these steps.
Different people choose different ways to find and fill needs. Some knowledge workers, for example, like to meet clients, explore their challenges and offer practical tools that help them to succeed.
They like to give to others, rather than try to sell. During this process they may uncover needs and offer solutions. As a by-product, this sometimes leads to sales.
Such workers often follow the steps taken by many people who get paid for doing satisfying work. They explore the following themes.
Another approach to uncovering future needs is to work with pacesetting organisations. Pacesetters take the lead, maintain the lead and then extend the lead. Sometimes they make the new rules for the game.
Such organisations are often tackling challenges that others will encounter in the future. Working with them helps to develop a repertoire of solutions that can help others. You can then use these tools to help other organisations to achieve success.
You will have your own way of finding and filling needs. If you wish, try tackling the exercise of this theme. This invites you to do the following things.
Describe the specific things you can do to find and fill a need in the future.
Describe the specific benefits of taking this approach towards finding and filling a need.