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What Makes You Happy?

This post originally appeared in our Startup Growth Newsletter.

There’s a lot of talk right now in the media about the Great Resignation — the idea that, following a year and a half of the pandemic, a lot of people are going to leave their jobs. This got me thinking: What makes someone happy in their job?

Is it pay? Impact? Title? Altruism?

There is no universal answer. There is no correct answer. Understanding how your team members would answer that question today is really important in ensuring they’re happy. Anticipating how they’ll answer it in 24 months is really important in keeping them happy.

I was talking to a prospective employee this week and he asked me what it is like to work at York IE. That is a loaded question, but it got to the core of the issue: As we celebrated our two-year anniversary as a company, what makes me happy?

I had already told this candidate about how the thing I am most proud of is the exceptional talent we have been able to attract and how working with the amazing internal team, our advisors and our entrepreneurs challenges me daily and makes me a better professional.

So I thought about that for a moment and then replied that working at York IE feels like the first morning of your vacation week. At that moment, there are infinite possibilities. There is the potential that this will be the greatest week of your life.

Vacation never ends up that way. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes the kids are annoying. (Am I right, Kim?!). But that one moment, where everything is ahead of you and it can be whatever you can imagine it to be, is really the whole point of vacation.

And that is how I feel every day at work. That we are, collectively, building something special. That there are infinite possibilities. That our only limitation is our imagination. Will it all happen? Who knows. But it is possible.

And that makes me very happy.

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