Is the grass greener?

There are times when I am convinced that I was born in the wrong country.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a fiercely proud Englishman.  It’s just that I love the sunshine.  From November to February I seem to live my life in the dark, up in the dark, travel to work in the dark, come home in the dark.  I don’t feel as if I see daylight for four months.  It is a form of hibernation.

It would appear I am not alone.  A survey by job site found in the region of 70% of executives surveyed are considering a move abroad to live and work.  Among the more popular destinations were Asia, Australia and Africa.  France and Spain still feature among the top five destinations, but migrating south to our warmer Eurozone partners has become increasingly expensive as the pound has continued to decline against the Euro.

The results of this survey are not just simply about the weather.  Dig deeper and you’ll find this is more about the pursuit of happiness than it is about chasing sunshine.  Of those surveyed, just 10% felt that their current job was their vocation.   70% admitted to being bored at work.

This is about chasing a dream.  People want something different, they want to feel as if they are contributing to something more than just a bottom line but find it hard to break from the routine, lifestyle, comfort and often necessity of income.

The results of this survey are not about where you live but the sense of belonging, purpose and connection with what you do.  You can get such connection anywhere in the world.  In a global war for talent, employers are going to have to come up with increasingly innovative ways of connecting with their employees or risk increasing staff turnover and decreasing productivity.

David Cameron is proposing a national measure of happiness alongside traditional GDP as a way of evidencing the progress we are making as a country.  I shall be interested to see the results.  With only 10% of us enjoying a vocation and 70% of us bored, there is much to be done to lift the sense of satisfaction that people have in the workplace.  This is both the responsibility of not just employers, but the individual to understand more about their motivations and the state to create the conditions that encourages people to pursue their dreams.  I accept this is something of an ideology but people are peering over the fence and asking if the grass may just be greener on the other side.


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