How can you gain enjoyment and accomplish more in your business career? It's easy: Just search for more of what you like ... and then do more of what you find.

Let me explain by starting with what I don't mean: I'm not suggesting that those who love to eat chocolate ice cream at work seek out jobs that involve hourly samplings of such frozen treats.

Instead, I encourage you to seek out ways to combine what's most constructive about work for you, what brings you the most satisfaction, and what provides the most value to customers and to your organization. Think of that result as a "win-win-win-win."

The first "win" is building yourself up through doing something at work that's more constructive for you.

The second "win" is gaining more satisfaction from your work.

The third "win" is improving customer benefits.

The fourth "win" is adding more value for your organization.

While many businesspeople advocate "win-win" solutions (where those with different interests seek and agree on options that increase benefits for both), such solutions are far from optimal. At work such solutions often leave customers and the organization better off while leaving the person providing the solution worse off.

If your organization offers no potential wins for you in building your capabilities and gaining more satisfaction, look for an organization that subscribes to "win-win-win-win" solutions instead. Should you have no success in finding such an organization, take a good look at starting your own.

You'll better understand my point if I share an example of someone who has sought "win-win-win-win" solutions to great effect, my faculty colleague at Rushmore University, Professor Gary Smith. Through his highly successful career in executive search, he has continually seen practical benefits flow from seeking better alternatives for individuals, organizations, and their customers.

Here's a little background: Executive search is a tough grind for professionals who do the work. The field is famous for high turnover.

Professor Smith was drawn to the field after many years of hiring executives for major companies through such searches. From these experiences, he realized that he could add more value to executive searches by personally conducting them. He first tested that idea by working for a well-regarded firm and liked the experience.

He next struck out on his own, establishing Smith, Scott & Associates. In doing so, he immediately began shifting what work he would do so that he would enjoy it more. For example, he wanted to spend more time on searches and do less administration. Preferring to work one-on-one with clients, he also began offering executive coaching and human resources consulting services.

In this practice, Professor Smith wanted to add value for candidates by helping them understand how to obtain a better job with less effort and frustration. To that end, he wrote a book, "Becoming a High-Impact Candidate," that has helped many executives.

Searching to do even more of what he enjoys, Professor Smith began teaching at DePaul University's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business and later added lecturing at the University of Colorado's College of Business. He also sought to add value for students. Drawing on his 35 years of business experience, he can help students apply what they learn, rather than just reading about theory, as many schools emphasize.

As much as he enjoyed classroom teaching, Professor Smith wanted to spend time one-on-one with students, counseling them about their careers as well as helping them with their courses. To that end, he applies the Oxford Tutorial Method online with mid-career graduate business students at Rushmore to help them learn and apply helpful theory.

Professor Smith finds that tutored students do better work, making this way of teaching especially rewarding. He also enjoys teaching students who are holding down full-time jobs in many different countries, gaining personally from learning about their unique perspectives on business.

Not done searching for better work to do, he is now considering what else he might add to his busy work day after reaching a career milestone of completing 600 successful executive searches. In this investigation, he says that only one thing is certain. He will keep working. He comments that "Working keeps you energized and young!"

That last comment says it all. The "win-win-win-win" approach to a business career can make working much more desirable and valuable.

So how can you apply these lessons to your career?

1. Keep a diary of what you do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for two weeks.

2. At the end of the period, makes notes about the value of each thing you did in terms of personal development, satisfaction, value for others, and benefits for your organization and family.

3. Identify from those notes the activities that were most significant in all four dimensions.

4. Then, see if there are any common themes to these activities.

5. Consider how you might replace activities that are low in all four dimensions with more time spent on activities that are or could be high in the same dimensions.

6. Discuss with your boss how your work might be recast to be more productive and desirable for all concerned.

7. If your organization will let you make the shifts, that's wonderful!

8. If not, look for a different job in that organization or in another one where you can spend more time on the most desirable and valuable activities.

9. If that search doesn't succeed, follow Professor Smith's example and start your own firm.

10. Keep testing yourself in these ways to continually expand the "win-win-win-win" solutions you are engaged in.

What are you waiting for?

Author's Bio: 

Donald W. Mitchell is a professor at Rushmore University who often teaches people who want to improve their business effectiveness in order to accomplish career breakthroughs through earning advanced degrees. For more information about ways to engage in fruitful lifelong learning at Rushmore University to increase your effectiveness, I invite you to visit