Four Secrets to Liking Your Work: You May Not Need to Quit to Get the Job You Want

Financial Times
Edward G. Muzio / Deborah J. Fisher / Erv Thomas  
Total pages
January 2008
Related Titles

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Four Secrets to Liking Your Work: You May Not Need to Quit to Get the Job You Want
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How far could you go if you truly loved your job? How much money could you make? How much could you learn? What could you contribute to the world, your family, yourself? Imagine living and working like this for a lifetime... now, make it happen, with Four Secrets to Liking Your Work! This book is not a "stop-whining-fast" program: it's about what you can do to improve your worklife, one day at a time, starting right now. Based on the latest research, it brings together state-of-the-art tools, hands-on exercises, and insights everyone can use - whatever your situation, skills, workplace, or goals. You'll begin by discovering a radically new outlook on your job: one that helps you respond to your current situation far more productively. Next, understand hidden differences in differences in focus and approach that shape your behavior - and learn how to achieve better outcomes with far less stress. Clarify what really motivates you and your colleagues: then, use that knowledge to improve your interactions, increase your influence, and align your work with what you care about most. Learn how to "balance" your tasks, so you consistently get the positive feedback you need to move forward. Identify specific skills that can impact your effectiveness most powerfully, and master them as rapidly as possible. Finally, bring together everything you've learned, gaining a broader perspective that helps you systematically uncover obstacles to worklife satisfaction - and overcome them!


Love your work! A practical, proven, start-to-finish approach to transforming your work life! 

  • Tools, techniques and strategies for improving your work life, one step at a time.
  • Hands-on exercises to help you clarify what's working, what isn't, what you really want, and how you can get it.
  • For everyone who wants to be happier at work!

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xvii

About the Authors xviii

Prologue: Monday Morning Dread xix


Chapter 1: The Trouble with Work 1

Chapter 2: How People Act 17

Chapter 3: Watching the Action 33

Chapter 4: Why People Act 45

Chapter 5: Figuring Out Why 65

Chapter 6: What People Do 77

Chapter 7: Do What You Like 91

Chapter 8: Got Skills? 105

Chapter 9: A Bird's Eye View 123


Appendix 139

Notes 141

Index 147


Back Cover

“I wish I had this book when I started teaching! It's a must-read for anybody who works. The simple, organized, and realistic exercises gave me new perspective about who I am, and helped me learn to better enjoy what I do.”

-Krystal Wood, Elementary School Educator


“Proactive and empowering! How I wish I had Four Secrets to Liking Your Work during the times my work as a Pastor was not only frustrating, but also depleting me emotionally and spiritually! The book is full of practical tools and approaches that help reverse the downward spiral that we face when we're unhappy at work. It puts the control back in our own hands, and helps us to create work lives that are happier and even emotionally and spiritually enriching. I strongly recommend Four Secrets to Liking Your Work to anyone who is experiencing difficulty in his or her work life.”

-The Rev. Dr. Paul Debenport, Senior Pastor, and Head of Staff, First Presbyterian Church of Albuquerque


“A must read! With a hands-on approach and actual homework activities, it will change your whole outlook and give you the fresh start you need. The light at the end of the tunnel is no longer a train, but the bright future of a renewed and refreshed perspective.”

-Robert H. Mallory, Accredited Green Building Professional, Southwest Noise Control,



“There are many guides to finding the right job out there, but few others teach us to make the most of our current situation. The understanding of self and others taught in this book will help people to be at their most constructive, whether they are working at home or in a more traditional environment.”

-Anne Laird, Homemaker & Small Business Owner


“Helped me understand what drives me and, more importantly, what drives the people I love and work with. This book will help anyone communicate more effectively, improve relationships, and reduce the pain they feel at work.”

-Joseph Rodman, Director of Training and Education, Jaynes Construction


“Working with others is unavoidable; this book gives you a deeper understanding of what makes them tick. It's a concise, easy read that will improve your personal and professional life.”

-Dr. Donald E. Conklin, Vice President, United Corporate Services, Inc., and Adjunct Professor, Dominican College MBA Program


“Life is too short to not enjoy what you do! This book is a gem, filled with practical, simple, and direct advice for of untangling the twisted nets of communication failures. It is as valuable to an employer trying to maintain high-functioning teams as it is to an employee who is feeling dissatisfied.”

-R.A. Bobbi Hayes, CPA, Partner, Accounting & Consulting Group, LLP


“By internalizing the mind-expanding principles presented in Four Secrets to Liking Your Work, I am now enjoying my work on a much deeper level. Many times when I thought my coworkers simply 'weren't getting it,' it was actually I who wasn't getting it! There is no empty feel-good rhetoric here-this book distinguishes itself from pop self-improvement books by focusing on breaking through barriers with disciplined action instead of just giving you a pep talk. It provides the missing tools everybody needs.”

-Jim Foster, Vice President, Staffing and Human Capital


“Liking your work is one of the greatest blessings in life, and these authors know all about how to find or create that blessing. Those who follow this book's advice will see lights turn on wherever they are in the world of work. Leaders, listen up! This book is not just about you, but about everyone you work with. HR, listen up! This book will help with on-boarding AND with retention.”

-William R. Daniels, CEO, American Consulting & Training, and Author, Breakthrough Performance and Change-Able Organization


“In a globalized world, this book provides analytical tools and approaches for honoring differences in the workplace.”

-Ron Sacchi, Director of Organizational Learning and Development, VeriSign, Inc., and Author, Design/Build Your Business


“A gem of a book for anyone who works or manages others. Provides insights and exercises that reveal the secrets you need to enjoy your work and your successes.”

-Dion McInnis, University Administrator, and Author, Listen to Life, Wisdom in Life's Stories


“I have known just one or two of the Four Secrets to Liking Your Work, when used individually, to enable leaders to maximize productivity, and to make a huge difference in how teams operate. In combination, the Secrets have the potential to be one of the most powerful team building and organizational assessment tools I have ever seen.”

-Steve Overcashier, OD and Training Manager, COPART Inc., (#140 of the FORBES 200 Best Small Companies)


“The logical next step to the Strengths Finder, and an enjoyable read.”

-Lisa Baker, Vice President of Marketing, Hewlett-Packard


“Provides pragmatic ways of developing self-awareness and using it to take your career in powerful new directions. Anyone can use the four Secrets to find career happiness and ongoing success.”

-Gail Hurt, CEO, Living Authentically Career & Life Mentoring, Certified Career Practitioner


“A no-nonsense, practical guide to dispassionately evaluate job dissatisfaction and an invaluable framework for evaluating human interactions far beyond the workplace. Clear and relevant, with analogies, examples, and a tinge of humor. An accessible and exceedingly useful tool. Dissatisfied employees who are wondering whether they should leave their jobs owe it to themselves to read this book and move toward a better future at work-whether they choose to leave or stay.”

-Janet Williams, Site Strategy Manager, Atomic Weapons Establishment (England)


“An inspiration and a relief! I've seen many tools, but none that approach things as effectively as this book does. It will do a lot of good for a lot of people.”

-Peggy Robinson, Education and Training Supervisor, 3M (Retired)


“Because we aren't taught about office relationships in law school, our actual experiences can be so negative as to drive us away from our hard-earned careers. This book is the needed prescription for dealing with a sour and enervating workplace, teaching us what our formal educations ignored, and putting us on the road to a more rewarding experience in our workplaces.”

-Dr. Denise D. Fort, Professor of Law


“Taken together, the four Secrets create a powerful environment for change. Although the book is written at higher level than others, it does a great job explaining and simplifying complex concepts.”

-Lynne H. Schluter, Manager, Lockheed


“An easy read, different from what I have read in the past. Provides tools for in-depth understanding which allow the reader to make better choices at work.”

-Gerald Lipka, Corporate Project Manager, Sandia National Laboratories


“Wow! What a great book! It connects so many career and life lessons like puzzle pieces, and makes them all fit together at work.”

-Denise Schultze, Central NM President, National Membership Chair, Society of Women Engineers


“The ideas in this book really opened my eyes and taught me the skills I needed to discover my own needs and desires for a satisfying job experience.”

-Ellen Phifer, Technical Team Lead, SURVICE Engineering


“Packed with practical, useful information. Like reading a book about people I know.”

-Laura Oliphant, PhD, Senior Investment Manager, Intel Capital


“Presents concepts that are both useful and thought-provoking. A reference manual and a very useful tool.”

-Dave Berry, Senior Systems Engineer, Harris County


“Truly enjoyable! The most fun I've had with a career tool ever! Information presented in a new and very usable way; skills everyone should know and use. I'd give a copy to everyone on my team!”

-Bernice Brody, PMP, Executive Project Manager, IBM


Stop dreading Monday morning! Wherever you work, whatever you do, you can make your work life more fulfilling, more joyful...and it starts right here, right now, with this book. You're holding the first practical, start-to-finish program for transforming your work life: all the tools, tricks, ideas, examples, and proven research you need to make it happen!


Dive in, and discover how to improve all your interactions with colleagues…what really motivates you, and to find the positive feedback and work experiences you desperately need...what you can learn today to become happier and more effective in your current job...when to quit, and how to find the work you're meant to do. One day, one small step at a time, start building the work life you've always dreamt about...passionate, fun, and enormously successful!



Edward G. Muzio is President and CEO of Group Harmonics and a leader in the application of analytical models to enhance group effectiveness. He has started large organizations and small companies, led global initiatives in technology development and employee recruitment, and published papers ranging from manufacturing strategy to individual skills and productivity. As primary developer of his company's educational suite, he serves as advisor and educator to workers at all levels in companies worldwide.


Deborah J. Fisher, PhD is a Visiting Research Professor at the University of New Mexico. Dedicated to group productivity and human motivation, her career has included tenure and an endowed chair position at her current institution, and Directorship of the Engineering Management Program at the University of Houston. She has automated organizational learning for the construction industry, created employee development models for Sandia National Laboratories, and educated generations of professionals along the way.


Erv Thomas, PEis a Program Manager at Intel Corporation. For the past several years he has been responsible for recruiting, mentoring, and developing the top engineering talent in the world. He has dedicated over 30,000 hours of his time to helping professionals and young adults live up to their full potential at work and in life. Additionally, he has been a design engineer, an educator, and the founding director of a non-profit organization where he has spent the majority of his “non-working” time mentoring teens at risk.