How to Find Job Satisfaction

by Jonathan

How To Find Job Satisfaction

Editor’s note: This is a guest article by Stuart Mills

“Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice and need.” ~Voltaire

How many times have you been talking about work with someone, and these words (in some way) pop up: “I hate my job.”

I’d bet ‘a lot’. A lot of people openly admit that they hate their jobs and that they would quit if they could afford to. They won’t admit this to their superiors, but they’ll admit it to just about anyone else within earshot. Why are they so open? What do they hope to gain by announcing that they don’t like their jobs and their manager’s a bad piece of work? Beats me.

Everyone has to work, otherwise you wouldn’t get anywhere in life. I see people who are 43 years old and still living with their parents because they can’t find a job. Rubbish, there’s no such thing as ‘can’t find a job’, rather, they’re too lazy to get up and look for a job. They let their parents cover their needs, and let the world keep turning. This is not the way towards satisfaction in life.

I Can’t Get No Job Satisfaction

Why don’t more people enjoy their work? Satisfaction comes from spending the hours of your day in ways that truly fulfill you, and you spend a large portion of your day at work, so I’d say ‘job satisfaction’ is pretty important. Yet, a lot of people seem content in finding a job that doesn’t challenge them and doesn’t excite them, only to pick up a decent pay check at the end of each month. They act as if money is the most important thing in the world.

Well if that’s the case, why don’t they find a job with more money?

Benefits of Job Satisfaction

It’s very important that your job satisfy you in some way, due to the benefits you’ll receive. The benefits of job satisfaction are many, here are four that come to mind:

1. Promotes a healthy, balanced lifestyle, keeping stress levels to a minimum.
2.
Fosters pride in your work, knowing that you’re doing something good.
3.
Motivates you to get out of bed earlier, with more spring and energy.
4.
Makes it easier to focus on more than just the money.

I could go on, but now we dive into the important part of this article: the ‘how-to’!

How to Find Job Satisfaction

Here are five tips that I’ve found, that will work towards greater job satisfaction for you:

1. People Need You. If you find yourself wondering why you’re even bothering to do this work when no one seems to appreciate what you do, then don’t fret. There’s always someone who relies on you, no matter what type of work you do.

The public rely on the toilet cleaners to keep the toilets fresh. The public rely on the trash-men to remove their unwanted garbage. The public rely on the fast-food trainee to provide them with easy, stress-free food. No matter what job you have, there are always people out there that rely on you to do your job right. And usually, if you don’t do your job, then they will suffer for it.

So recognize that there are those who need you to do a good job. People depend on you to deliver the goods and to be consistent about it. Please don’t let them down.

2. Plan Out Your Day. Often, we’ll find a day disappears as quickly as it arrived because we got bogged down with minor chores and emergencies that kept appearing. These minor fires mean we don’t get to tackle the much bigger fires, which would give us a lot more satisfaction.

What’s the best way to deal with this? Plan out your day. At the end of your shift, decide what ‘major fires’ need putting out tomorrow, what big things could be tackled to improve you and your company. Plan out when you’ll tackle these major issues, and then stick to that plan no matter what little embers may pop up. You need to make sure your time is your own, so that you won’t lose it by running around aimlessly.

Every day, we’re given a bucket of water. Don’t waste it on small embers, use it to put out the big fires.

3. Mix It Up. Consistency is a good thing to have at work. But what isn’t good to have is the same routine, day after day after day. It drags you down, it makes you tired early in the day, and it kills any motivation you have for the job.

Here’s a splash of cold water in the face: mix it up! Do something different! Step out of your routine and take a fresh look at things. What’s driving you to boredom? What has gone past its sell-by-date and needs to be ditched? Get rid of that which no longer works. Minor chores can be ditched, pointless re-arranging can be dumped. Inject some variety into your days, even if it’s something as simple as taking a different route to work.

Decide on three things that you could introduce to your work that would mix it up. Then do them! Don’t delay in this, the longer you put it off, the more the old routines will look tempting again. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

4. Talk With Your Colleagues. It amazes me sometimes how little some people actually know about their work colleagues. There’s ‘Dave’, and ‘Sue’ and ‘Bill’ and Jane’, but go beyond their first names, and there’s a gap. It seems that when asked, we don’t know that much at all!

Your colleagues are not robots. They’re other human beings too, breathing and talking and trying to make a living, just like you. So treat them as human beings. Get inquisitive. Get to know them a bit better each day by asking a different question, or by starting a new topic. Share experiences with them, and they’ll realize that you’re human too, and that it’s OK to talk with each other about something other than work.

The more you know about your colleagues, the more you can relate to them, and the more interesting your job becomes.

5. Take Pride. This work that you spend so many hours a day doing, there’s something personal about it that only you can claim. It was done by you.

Warren Buffett said, “There will never be a greater you, than you” and he spoke the truth. Only you can put your own stamp on the work you do. Only you can be truly satisfied with the work you do. So take pride in this work, and see that no-one else can do the job as well as you can.

Every day is a chance to do something great. So do great work, in the way that only you can.

I Want to Hear From You

I’m going to ask you a few questions now:
How do you feel about your job?
Are you satisfied?

If not, then what is it specifically that you are dissatisfied with?

Share your stories in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.

Stuart Mills is the creator of Unlock The Door, a place where he wants to help you become like Neo from The Matrix. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve-Personal Success Factors

Stuart, thanks for the great article. I like what you said about connecting with co-workers, and also mixing it up with the routine. The planning piece is a big one, too.

Too many people are unhappy with their jobs because they have not taken responsibility for their lives. They need to get to know themselves and take action to create opportunities around their strengths. It’s not easy, but it is possible :)

Reply

Stuart

Thanks Steve, glad you liked it! Creating opportunities around our strengths is always good :-)

Reply

Debbie @ Happy Maker

Great piece of work. I have always thought and actual done, if you don’t like your job get another one. when i was very young I had a job in a factory. It was boring, took no brains to do it, so I got another job i liked. Work is fun if you want to make it fun. Like you say, cleaning a toilet is important. Take pride it what you do and you will find the fun in it.
Debbie

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Stuart

Thanks for the kind words Debbie! Glad you liked what I had to say ;-)

Reply

Stuart

Thank you very much, Jonathan, for letting me write for Advanced Life Skills. Very generous of you :-)

Reply

Jonathan - Advanced Life Skills

Hey Stuart, you’ve been a great supporter of Advanced Life Skills and it’s great to have the opportunity work together. In reality, it’s one of those job satisfaction thing you talk about in your article

Reply

Jonas

To be honest I’m not quite there yet, even though I’ve tried most tips and tricks out there.

I will implement your suggestions and give you some feedback how it went.

Thanks for an inspiring post,

Jonas

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Stuart

Thank YOU Jonas for taking the time to read. I hope I’ve been of some help to you :-)

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Marnie

Wow – “talk to your colleagues” really hit home for me. I usually work through lunch, but in the long run, it’d probably be better for me to spend time with other human beings – even if that means I don’t get as much accomplished.

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Stuart

Hi Marnie, I see this as two things that are linked; you could talk with your colleagues more, and yet as a result, you could get more accomplished. It’s amazing what can happen once you get talking ;-)

Reply

Nea

Stuart this is a wonderful post and the message is so important for people to hear. I’ve learned that when you’re not necessarily doing what you love, you can find a way to love what you do. We can love our work for so many reasons- including it’s role in the path we’re on to greater things.

What a wonderful job you did with this post! Awesome!

Reply

Stuart

Thanks Nea, glad you liked the post :-)

Reply

Marty

The satisfaction in my job mainly comes down to my ability to see real results from it. Working in a job that supports vulnerable people (I’m a drugs worker) can give results in their extremes.
I firmly believe that what I can provide as an individual (I accept that I am a unique person!) makes significant difference.
The challenges that come about are the outside influences and driving forces that demand statistical results.
I ultimately get job satisfaction and I’m choosing to accept that I have it despite the challenging influences of others.

Reply

Stuart

It sounds like you’ve got your head screwed on Marty! Keep doing what you’re doing, despite the challenges that will come, and despite the times when it’s tempting to go with the social norm. You are you, and only you :-)

Reply

Priya

Hi Stuart,

Pretty interesting post and you have hit a topic which I think almost everyone goes with it. Job satisfaction is really important only then you can grow and work is also done with perfection.

I think in job you’ll find some thing which you don’t like. So it doesn’t mean that you keep changing your job or remain unsatisfied with it, you need to find a way so that you find yourself comfortable & satisfied with your work.

Reply

Stuart

That’s what I was after Priya, a topic that everyone can relate to, and that everyone experiences at some point. Thanks for reading :-)

Reply

Timo Kiander

Great post!

It’s so easy to hate your job – instead you should appreciate it. This makes your daily work day so much easier.

I may not have the most exciting job right now, but it has many benefits – like colleagues (what you also mentioned in your post).

Reply

Stuart

Hey Timo, glad you liked the article! You’ve got great colleagues which means your job is more manageable, and it means you get to have more fun ;-)

Reply

Divakar

Hi Stuart, thank you for these insights. I especially liked “People Need You.” Honestly, many times in my work I get a strong feeling of “My Job is not Important,” but now I have a better way of looking at this.

Thanks again :)

Reply

Stuart

No problem Divakar, just keep at working on why your job is important. It’s important to somebody, or else there’d be no need for it :-)

Reply

Nathaniel

Stuart -

Great points! Love number 1. Always important to remember what you’re doing and how it can help – easy to forget though!

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Stuart

It can be, but that’s what constant reminder is there for. Whenever you feel down, give yourself a boost by reminding yourself that your work is important to SOMEONE.

Thanks for reading :-)

Reply

Shalini

Hi Stuart

I have an excellent job in a Multi National Company. It offers me extemely good salary and I am very much important there. Infact, I love all the attention that I keep getting. All my friends envy me for having such a job. But I seriously think its not at all challenging and no much brain is needed to get the job done. A Xth grade student would be able to do the job. This keeps haunting me and I would want to take up something challenging. But I am not at all sure if something called “Job satisfaction” really exists and I am afraid of ending up in some other job which is less interesting and less paying if I take risk, quit my job and look for a new career.

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Sam

I work for a company and to be perfectly honest I am really way over qualified for my job I started my job when I was just starting college and now have finished university and I am now using the same if not less skills than I was before. They could fire me tomorrow and it would make absolutely no difference to the company what so ever, I feel like the only reason they hang on to me is because they pay me about 2/3rds to about half the actual rate I should be getting at my current level of qualification.

I have thought about changing jobs every day but if I did it means moving 100′s of miles away because there are simply no jobs around where I live which encompasses my skill set, I am considering trying to go self employed I think that would really give me more job satisfaction.

Reply

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