Sections of This Topic Include
What is Job Satisfaction?
Career Satisfaction: Do You Have It?
Job Satisfaction: Is it Time to Stay or Leave?
Various Perspectives on Job Satisfaction
Career Satisfaction: Do You Have It?
Copyright Marcia Zidle
Do you “work to live or live to work”?
In a recent Leading News, e-newsletter, from Marshall Goldsmith, the premier executive coach, asked that question. Why? Because if you figured how time you spent at work – approximately one-third of our waking hours – then you realize that
your job has a significant impact on your life.
He created an exercise to help people evaluate their job satisfaction and, mostly importantly, their career choice. There are three categories and you are to estimate
the percentage of your job that falls within each category.
You Try It.
The first category is “play.” This is job content that is fun and what you would tend to do regardless of whether or not you were compensated for it. We have all seen people readily agree to do a task that was beyond the job description. Why? Because it was a task they viewed as fun, as an outlet for untapped creativity or a channel for self-development. If I tell myself, “I‟m going to play,” then there is no
resistance or creative avoidance.
The second category is “work.” This is job content that is not play. It‟s work. This is
an activity that, although not fun, you would agree to do for reasonable
The third category is “misery.” Job content in this category is not only not play, but it is drudgery, and at times pure h-ell. And we can find all times of creative reasons
to avoid and procrastinate.
How do you see the composition of your work experience concerning activities that are categorized as play, work, and misery? Do you need to write yourself a new job
Here are the typical survey results among professionals:
15 percent of what professionals do is considered play;
75 percent of what professionals do is considered work;
10 percent of what professionals do is considered misery.
Career Success Tip
Most professional jobs can be molded or shaped to allow for individual situations or for one‟s growth and development needs. Think about ways to add things to your job that will allow you to play more or take some things out that will allow you to be more satisfied. Then go to your boss and make a case for it – not that it will make
you happier but that it can add to your productivity.
Job Satisfaction: Is it Time to Stay or Leave?
Have you lost that “loving” feeling?
You‟ve survived the layoffs, cut wages, reorganizations and other company changes.
You„re stressed out, fed up and ready to bolt?escape and rush out?.
On the other hand, the economy is going nowhere, the analysts aren‟t sure if we‟re in recovery, recession or something in-between and you‟re being told “you have a
job, be happy.”
So, should you stay or leave? Before you make that critical career decision, take a
deep breath, assess your situation and do a cost benefit analysis.
First, consider the reasons to stay. For example:
1. Relationships matter more than money.
You may think you can find a job that will pay you more, but you will be leaving behind a wealth of relationships. When weighing your options, don‟t forget the value
of the network, the friends and professional colleagues you have now.
2. You are doing well compared to your peers.
Research shows that many people under estimate their skills and their prospects and over estimate others. Take the time to do a realistic assessment of what you
have to offer and its value in today‟s marketplace.
3. The grass is not always greener.
People, who are desperate to get out of a job, tend to see potential opportunities only outside their company. They enthusiastically take a new job and then realize
they‟ve gone from the proverbial frying pan into the fire.
Now, consider the reasons to leave. For example:
1. Your relationship with your boss is damaged beyond repair. You have tried to mend it but you‟re getting stonewalled. Yes, she may be a jerk but
she is the boss and in a power struggle, you will probably lose.
2. Your values are at odds with the culture.
For example, your company is hierarchical and you want more influence over your job. It‟s very hard for one person to change a culture unless he‟s the CEO or has
been brought in to change things.
3. Your stress level is way off the charts.
It‟s affecting your physical or mental health and your relationships with family and
friends. You‟re burnt out, burnt up and dread going to work.
So what will it be – stay or leave?
In looking at the reasons to stay and the reasons to leave, which will have the best impact on your personal and career satisfaction? What will provide you with the
most benefit today? What about tomorrow?
If you’re overstressed and at risk for job burnout, you may feel that a major life overhaul is
necessary for you to be able to enjoy your job and avoid burnout. Before making major changes, this article can help you to better enjoy your situation with a few minor adjustments, and give you food for thought on whether major changes may be necessary. The following suggestions can help you increase job satisfaction:
Be Clear About Job Requirements:
It‟s nearly impossible to do a good enough job at your work if you don‟t know what the requirements are. Unfortunately, sometimes it‟s difficult to know all of the requirements at a job when those in charge are poor communicators. Some bosses and supervisors are vague with expectations, assign new tasks with little advance notice, request new tasks without providing training, and inadvertently set workers up to fail in other ways. While you can‟t prevent things like this from happening altogether, you can gain a clearer view of what you need to do and help your situation quite a bit with assertive communication skills. Learn to
speak up for yourself in a respectful way and you‟ll improve your work life and your relationship, and decrease your risk for burnout.
Find Rewards and Recognition:
We all need to feel recognized and rewarded for what we do. If your job doesn‟t have built-in
opportunities for recognition, or if rewards are infrequent, you may need to add rewards and recognition to your own life. You may decide to take yourself to a movie, have a home spa
experience, buy yourself something nice, or give yourself other small but nurturing rewards
when you complete a project or complete another month of hard work. You can also team up with a supportive friend and agree to listen to each other‟s successes and provide support to
one another if you don‟t get that support and recognition from your job. These things can nurture you emotionally and remind you of the importance of the work you do, especially if you work in a job or field where these rewards are sparse.
Maintain a Balanced Lifestyle:
Keeping balance in your lifestyle is important; if it‟s all work and no play, you may find your ability to work beginning to wane(recession). In order to maintain balance in your lifestyle,
the first step is to take an overview of your current lifestyle and see which areas are out of balance. Do you have enough time for relationships, hobbies, sleep, self care, exercise,
healthy eating, and other important features of a healthy lifestyle, in addition to your work responsibilities? If not, the next step is to look at your priorities and make some changes so that your lifestyle reflects them better. (You can find tools for doing this at the end of this quiz,
or with this free e-course.)
You can usually change your experience of your current circumstances by changing your attitude about them. Developing an optimistic point of view and changing negative self talk
patterns can go a long way toward helping you see the glass half-full, as well as actually making you more productive and less stressed! Assess your current state of mind, and make
some changes in yourself so that you see things in a more positive light, and you may just find you‟re much happier where you are in life!
Know Yourself and Work With Your Personality:
Certain features of your personality make some jobs a better fit for you than others. If you‟re in a job that‟s not well-suited for your personality, you may be putting yourself under unnecessary stress every day you go to work. The following are some good questions to ask yourself:
; Do you like to work toward deadlines, or do you like your tasks to come in a relatively steady stream?
; Do you like to work as part of a team, or independently?
; Do you like things to be structured and routine, or loose and variable? ; Do you enjoy being a „big fish in a small pond‟, or would you like to be a „small fish in a big pond‟? (Meaning, would you like to be a small part of a large company or a large part of a small company, or something else?)
; Do you believe in what you do, and is it important to you that you do? These questions and others can give you a better picture of what kind of work would be best
for you. If you find you‟re not in the type of position that‟s ideal for you, you can see if you can
make additional changes in your job‟s structure to make it fit better with your needs, or you might think of what jobs might be better suited for you and see if working toward a change in jobs is a good idea for you.
Happiness Index: Top 300 Careers With The Highest Job Satisfaction Ratings
Singers 91.7 1.