Job Satisfaction for You

Job Satisfaction for You

Posted on Monday July 05, 2010 at 12:18PM

Job Satisfaction for You


Are you happy in your workplace?  You may be spending up to one third of your time at work, so if you are experiencing limited job satisfaction, it affects a good portion of your life.  There is academic research that links job satisfaction with personality types, with economic factors, and a variety of other factors.  But job satisfaction is individual – what makes you happy in the work place can be very different from the person sitting next to you.


As a teacher I used to wonder how people who worked in offices survived.  How boring, doing nothing but answer phones and stare at a computer screen all day.  Now-a-days I wonder how I could have enjoyed standing in front of a group of teenagers all day!  Yet I experienced high levels of job satisfaction in both positions.  How is that?  Job satisfaction is not solely reliant on the type of job, but on certain aspects of the job.  Studies have shown that people experience higher levels of job satisfaction when the following conditions are met:


1.  Autonomy.  Most people don’t like being told what to do all the time.  Being in a position that allows you some freedom in arranging your own workflow provides a sense of autonomy.

2.  Purpose.  Doing something worthwhile can produce very high levels of satisfaction.

3.  Not monotonous.  This one speaks for itself.  Variety in the workplace can ensure that employees are happier.

4.  Allows for growth (personal/hierarchical). Learning something new, or figuring out how to do something more efficiently improves one’s sense of self-worth, and thus job satisfaction.  The chance for promotion provides a goal.

5.  Money.  Not being paid what your time and efforts are worth can greatly discourage you from working to your full potential.  The pay cheque tends to be the most tangible evidence of perceived value of an employee.

6.  Job security.  If you constantly feel that your job is on the line, there is little chance for job satisfaction.  While that tension may be used to “inspire” you to perform better, the stress of it can make life miserable.  In some situations, when the ax falls, it’s often a relief, rather than a tragedy.

7.  Enjoyment.  This one is a bit of a loop: if you enjoy what you are doing in your job, you have greater job satisfaction – the greater the job satisfaction, the more you will enjoy what you are doing in your job.

8.  People you work with.  In a full-time job, we may spend more of our waking hours with our colleagues than our families.  If relationships in the work place are rocky, chances are you will feel less inclined to spend time at work.

9.  Hours and conditions.  I used to love having Christmas, Spring Break and summer vacations off, but I hated the long nights and weekends spent grading papers and preparing for classes.  I’m liking the more regular hours I now work, knowing that when I go home, my time is my own.  Conditions are huge to job satisfaction.  It’s difficult to feel good about a job if your chair is uncomfortable, or the temperature is too hot/too cold.

10. Perks.  There are donuts on the table in the staff room right now, and I have access to all the coffee I can drink.  It may seem like a little thing, but perks like this make me enjoy my job and the people I work with.


But just having a list is not helpful in gaining greater job satisfaction if yours is low.  For that, you need to figure out what is missing and work towards changing it.  It may be as simple as changing the chair you’re sitting in, or the direction you’re facing.  You may need to reorganize your work flow to get more variety into your day.  Whatever the difference needed, no one is going to do it for you.  Recognize what you need and figure out how to get it.  While job satisfaction is not a requirement, it makes your life better, which leads to better service for the patron.


Resources available through TRACpac


Arussy, Lior Medford.  Excellence every day: make the daily choice-- inspire your employees and amaze your customers.  N.J.: CyberAge Books/Information Today, 2008.  


Glovinsky, Cindy.  Making peace with your office life: end the battles, shake the blues, get organized, and be happier at work.  New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2010.


Lencioni, Patrick.  The three signs of a miserable job: a fable for managers (and their employees). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2007.  


Sanborn, Mark. The Fred Factor: how passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.  New York: Currency/Doubleday, 2004.   


Stanier, Michael Bungay.  Do more great work: stop the busywork, start the work that matters. New York: Workman Pub., 2010.   

Author: Northern Lights Library System


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