A good job is all about helping people and the planet

By Oliver Sylvester-Bradley on 10 Feb 2015 - 15:13
A Good Job Logo

The definitions we're submitted, the votes were cast and the results have been counted. Here's what the members of the Good Job Network had to say about what "A good job is…" in our January 2015 launch competition. The winners have all been notified and many have received their prizes already :)

Over 190 people provided unique definitions explaining what they think "A good job is…" and over 330 votes were cast on those definitions.

The definition with the most votes was from Simon who said, a good job is:

One that gets you out of bed in the morning, and when you return to bed the world is a better place.

Simon cleverly covered two common themes in his definition; The motivation to escape the duvet and the desire to improve the world. We completely understand a good job "gets you out of bed in the morning", especially in this cold weather, which no doubt contributed to Simon's winning votes! The same sentiment was mentioned by many others including Libby, Gary, Susan, Peter, Nigel, Ann, Jeremy, Anna, Karolyn and Victoria.

"Improving the world" was the most common theme of the entire competition, with 47% of the definitions making a specific reference to wanting to make the world more sustainable. We're particularly encouraged by this because the Elevator mission is to help people find jobs which "make the world a better place", so it's good to know we're on the right track!

The Values Revolution report from Global Tolerance backs this up:

Two thirds of the next generation talent pool want to work for a company that makes a difference to the world.

They go on to report that their study found:

Meaningful work that benefitted others was more important than a high salary for 44% and 36% would work harder if their company benefitted society.

Helping others was the second most common theme from the "good job" definitions with over 25% of entrants specifically mentioning supporting other people in their definitions. Ella, for example, defined "A good job" as:

A fulfilling way to contribute to others wellbeing

Salary barely got a mention from our entrants but one or two did mention it; Josef defined "A good job" as:

fulfilling, helps people and planet, and pays a decent wage.

Susheel and Mary also mentioned pay, but our particular favourite was this subtly poetic definition from Chris who defined "A good job" as:

Making a living, not a killing.

Another interesting theme, mentioned in almost 10% of the entries, was succinctly defined by Paul who defined "A good job" as:

Not a job

Top marks for brevity, Paul! But the sentiment was shared by several others including Sat Atma, Anna, Kerry, Mhairi, and Alice whose definitions all shared an aspect of one of our favourite quotes, from Confucius:

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Confucius is one of our key inspirations at Elevator, expect more mentions of his philosophies on the blog over the next few months.


The main conclusion from all the entries to the good job competition is that members of The Good Job Network are an extremely ethical bunch, who want to make the world a better place for themselves and others, and to be happy in the process. We're extremely proud about this and that so many people share our objectives and values.

The exact nature of "A good job" is clearly different for everyone and can have both an internal or external perspective. Over 72% of entrants mentioned a personal aspect in their definitions describing "A good job" as something "fulfilling", or "one that makes you happy", or that "brings a smile to your face". Over 73% of entrants mentioned an external aspect in their definitions, such as "making a positive difference in the world", with the majority of those wanting to help others or the planet in some way.

Most peoples jobs take up the vast proportion of their waking life and, in this era of climate change - when so much needs to be done to improve the sustainability of our global structures and systems, it is no longer acceptable to compromise your values just to earn a living.

More than ever, people want to make a difference through their career choices and their workplaces and the consensus is that we need to work together to help others and heal the planet.

The final, special mention goes to Sally, who thinks "A good job is..."

much easier to find now with Elevator Cafe!

Thanks Sally - It's great to know we're doing a good job…