Where are you on the great work scale? Take the quiz

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Have you ever gotten the perfect job, or client, or gig, and after doing the work for awhile, found that it was not anything like you imagined?

A good friend moved all the way across country for a job opportunity that sounded like a dream on paper.

Only after working there for a few months, he quit, jumped on a plane, and moved back home.

“The CEO was a lunatic,” he said. “It was a crazy experience.”

It can be so disheartening to get really excited about an opportunity, only to find that it is nothing like you thought.

Why does this happen and how can you avoid making the mistake the future?

Very often, we get romanced by the what of our work (a great job title, exciting client, cool opportunity) but forget that great work also includes whom, how and where.

As you are evaluating different work opportunities, remember to research the following areas:

Whom are you working with?

  • Do they share your values? (Ask them)
  • Do they do what they say? (Ask someone who has worked with them in the past)
  • Do they understand your genius skills? (Ask them why they are interested in working with you)
  • Do they push themselves to grow, personally and professionally? (What is their body of work?)
  • Do you feel energized and alive when working with them, even when they are pushing you?

How are you working?

  • Are you in your optimum work mode? (Employee, Entrepreneur, Contractor, etc)
  • Are work expectations communicated clearly?
  • Are you able to create in your peak performance time zones during the day?
  • Are your communication style and personality profile respected? (do you need lots of quiet, reflective time, or lots of brainstorming and discussion to do your best work?)
  • Do you make the money you need to live the lifestyle you want?

Where are you working?

  • Does your physical environment allow you to do your best work?
  • Are you living where you want to?
  • Does your work environment support your health? (Chance to go outside and walk, good lighting, good ergonomics)

While it is tough to check off every one of these questions, you can identify some areas of your work life that can lead to greater satisfaction.

Great Work Pop Quiz

Answer Yes or No to the following 10 questions in this non-scientific test:

  1. I enjoy the content of my work
  2. The people I work with know my genius skills, and give me work in this area
  3. My manager (or client) trusts my judgement
  4. My physical environment makes me feel creative and focused
  5. My personal life is respected at work (time for health, family, etc)
  6. I respect the people I work with
  7. I know what is expected of me, and what is required to be successful at my job
  8. I love where I live
  9. I am challenged to grow and develop on a daily basis
  10. I am content with the amount of money I make


10 Yes’ = Wow, can I interview you? I would love to hear how you made this happen.

7-9 Yes’ = Congratulations! You have made career choices to bring out your best work

4-6 Yes’ = You are well on your way to doing your best work. Negotiate upgrades in the areas

0-3 Yes’ = Are you tired and frustrated? I am sorry! Time for a serious work overhaul.

Your best work will come from doing work you love, with people you respect who push you to do your greatest work, in an environment that allows you to do your work with the most focus and ease.

Do you think it is impossible to find the perfect work situation? Why or why not?

Of all of these questions on the list, which are most important to you? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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15 Responses to “Where are you on the great work scale? Take the quiz”

  1. Kay says:


    I was sad and a little shocked to realize I scored a big fat ZERO on your test!!! I have A LOT in common with your friend that moved all the way across the country as I am currently working in the Middle East for what was billed as a DREAM job. It’s been about 3 months and I hate it and feel guilty and stupid for getting myself into this situation. I was looking for something different, I guess my spirit was yearning for something more, and I felt like I was being BOLD and DARING by accepting this job. Unfortunately, my boss is as idiotic as she is unethical and my DREAM job turned out to be me taking, what feels like, SEVERAL steps back on the professional scale: all in all, I’m miserable. So glad I stumbled across your book and blog. Now I know I’m not crazy for wanting something more and a better quality of life!

    It can be so disheartening to get really excited about an opportunity, only to find that it is nothing like you thought.

  2. Love the blog, the article and comments. I went from a 3 to a ten. This article outlines how I did it while minimizing risk. Hopt it helps someone. http://buzzworthybasketballmarketing.com/2013/01/18/when-the-side-hustle-became-the-new-reality/

  3. Josh – excellent point!

    It reminds me to be grateful that with freelancing and entrepreneurship comes one of the greatest benefits: choosing those with whom you work!

  4. josh says:

    There are many people out there who often forget that if you look at the current research, money is not the factor that drives work satisfaction and that it is the relationship with the people around us that are the primary drivers of work happiness

  5. Hi Pam,

    Thanks for the quiz…I scored a 1. For real.

    I can honestly say that most of the reason for the low score is myself. I’ve been shuffled around the corporate world for 12 years now and I finally accepted the fact that it’s just not for me.

    I no longer care to climb the corporate ladder because I hate politics. I no longer care to share personal things about myself to anyone here at work for fear that they will use it against me. These fears are based in reality from many past experiences in the corporate environment.

    Unfortunately, my current company is bearing the brunt of my frustration with the corporate life over the past 12 years. It’s a decent company, it’s just corporate.

    I think another point to consider in your job satisfactioin is “On WHAT are you working?” If you’re not interested in your work (which over 50% of Americans are not), it can be work just to get out of bed.

    My workload is so small, that I hit my quarterly numbers in one month then spend the next two months working on my own projects. I’ve asked for more responsibility (dumb move) but my boss didn’t even reply to that email.

    That’s fine, because this job has led me to start my own side-business and I can now teach anyone to go from 0 to a business, starting with no money and no idea, in less than 30 days. It’s exactly what I did.

    Thanks for your continued inspiration and for making me feel like I’m not crazy by thinking that the corporate structure is obsolete.

    For now,

  6. David White says:

    That’s a great, quick quiz!
    I scored 8, but I’m starting up my own business so hopefully it will soon become 10.
    Thanks for the great article, I’ll definitely come back often. Kudos! 🙂

  7. Did you create this quiz yourself? Really like the concept.

  8. faisal says:

    Unfortunately, there is a long way to go!

  9. Robynn says:

    I am probably in a minority of your readers. I work for a large corporation and being able to honestly say that I score a 10 on your quiz. It was not always that way, but after reaching an all time low, I was able negotiate myself into something that fits me perfectly. I had not reflected on those in a while but it is nice to be reminded of just how sweet a gig this is! =)

    • Pamela Slim says:

      That is fantastic Robynn, and so encouraging! I love that you find total work satisfaction in a corporate environment. The work mode is not important, what matters is that you enjoy what you do, and are supported. Congrats!

  10. Hiro Boga says:

    Making sovereign choices and shaping my business to support both its well-being and my own makes it a 10.:-)

  11. Shannah says:

    Your question about “optimum work mode” speaks to me. I was at a 2…maybe even a 0. So I left my company and became an independent contractor. It wasn’t the work, it was the politics. Now I am doing the same work for the same company. Having the ability to say no means that I set my hours, choose my clients, define my role, and create my work environment. Because I can set myself up to do my best work all the time, the referrals keep coming. Perfect 10.