Job Satisfaction

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    What is Job Satisfaction?

    Job satisfaction is regarding one’s feelings or state of mind regarding the nature of their work. Job satisfaction can be influenced by various factors, e.g., the quality of one’s relationship with their supervisor, the quality of the physical environment in which they work, the degree of fulfillment in their work, etc.

    (To my knowledge, there is no strong acceptance among researchers, consultants, etc., that increased job satisfaction produces improved job performance — in fact, improved job satisfaction can sometimes decrease job performance. For example, you could let someone sit around all day and do nothing. That may make them more satisfied with their “work” in the short run, but their performance certainly won’t improve.)

    Measuring Job Satisfaction

    Leaders and managers need to support their employees to remain highly satisfied in their jobs. However, job satisfaction is a highly subjective measure. How do you measure it?

    There are a variety of approaches, including satisfaction surveys, performance review discussions, and exit interviews. The better the relationship between the supervisor and employee, the more honest the employee will be in sharing his or her opinion about how they feel about their job. Here are some additional perspectives.

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    Helping People to Motivate Themselves and Others

    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 figure out how much time you spend at work – approximately one-third of your 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, most importantly, their career choices. 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, 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 playable. It’s work. This is an activity that, although not fun, you would agree to do for reasonable compensation.

    The third category is “misery.” Job content in this category is not only not play, but it is drudgery and at times pure hell. 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 description?

    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 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 it can add to your productivity.

    Job Satisfaction: Is it Time to Stay or Leave?

    © Copyright Marcia Zidle

    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.

    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 the professional colleagues you have now.

    2. You are doing well compared to your peers.

    Research shows that many people underestimate their skills and their prospects and overestimate 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?

    Various Perspectives on Job Satisfaction

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    General Resources

    For the Category of Personal Wellness:

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