What is a good job? Fifty years ago, someone might say having a good job meant a good salary and a pension. And although those things are still important, it's safe to say that today, people are looking at their overall health, wellbeing, and purpose when it comes to defining a "good job."

Business Insider surveyed 1,000 workers from various generations to see what a good job meant to them. Although salary and benefits were certainly factors, personal fulfillment rose to the top of many people's lists. It got me thinking about my own research on the science of performance, success and happiness in the work place. When people are chasing their dream job, they're often chasing an idea and not a reality of what truly will make them fulfilled.

In my research, I distilled the latest psychology and science of performance into 5 key principles of performance. These are the real ingredients to success. By checking in with these principles, you'll uncover the central component to achieving the success you desire and the career you've always wanted.  

Challenge

In order to be engaged at work, you must be challenged in a good way. This is the intellectual component of great work. You need to be actively engaged in and excited about what you're doing. Understanding what's challenging to you means you'll never be bored again.

Impact

Intrinsic motivation that comes from within you is the only true motivation. People often get hooked by extrinsic motivators like money, promotions, or praise because they don't know what intrinsically motivates them. Identifying what impact is most meaningful to you requires discovering your core emotional challenge--or the biggest wound from your past. The pursuit of reversing this wound is key for endless fulfillment.

Joy

We all want joy at work, of course, but we're at the mercy of our brains. Achieving a goal is often met with a hit dopamine, making us think we're happy. But really, this isn't the path to joy, which comes from enjoying the process of your work just as much or more than the actual achievement. Making this shift from being achievement junkies to enjoying the process can redirect your work experience immediately.

Mindfulness

When it comes to your career, mindfulness is about paying attention to your negative mental chatter and building your confidence muscle. To do this, work to be keenly aware of how your self-talk may be depleting your self-worth.

Perseverance

Failures are an inevitable part of any career journey. How you handle them is what separates you from success. Tackle failures head on with curiosity and grit to open your mind and ensure you never give up. Doing so forces you to analyze your failures, grow from them, and start seeing them as positives. Once you see failures as growth opportunities, the sky is the limit for your growth.

Published on: Mar 4, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.