“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” The philosophy of Chinese politician Confucius highlighted the importance of job satisfaction as far back as c. 500 BC. It is no surprise that his preaching’s were later turned into an elaborate set of rules and practices.
Fundamentally, the concept of job satisfaction strikes many as being idealistic. How else would one explain why some people remain stuck in a role they are not well-suited for or rather not enjoying? Is it because it is so much simpler to get stuck in a rut and get out of our comfort zone? How is one able to attain a status of complete job satisfaction? These questions lead me to ask yet another question – ‘how hard is it to find a job that you love that is truly satisfying?’
Identifying one’s motivation to move is probably the starting point. Having said this, what one may find motivating may be a total nightmare for others. Firstly, what one should look into is analysing what their own personal meaning is when looking for a job or a career.
The right role for you is worth looking for and it is also important that one does not give up in the process, possibly settling for something less than ideal. What establishes this ideal situation? Is it the salary that drives your passion, or perhaps the relationship and daily experience with colleagues?
The concept of this so-called satisfaction has always struck me as one that deserves further exploration.
It may be safe to say that yes, it is indeed a fact that life is too short to bear the brunt of having to ‘accept’ going to work on a daily basis when what you do does not reflect your inner passion. For many of us, the idea of having a job that doesn’t feel like work anymore is fictitious, idealistic and is simply one left to be enjoyed by dreamers. Career dreams are one thing; practical reality is often another – some would argue.
What are the odds for the two coinciding? One should seize the opportunity if the occasion arises and enjoy the experience. Having job satisfaction does not mean that one should aim for that glamorous career necessarily – nor does it mean that what you do between nine and five should be money making from your hobby. What if we could actually work at job satisfaction – even if it is not there at the moment?
Attitude is a little thing that makes a huge difference
Shifting one’s attitude and expectations may be the core elements that make up job satisfaction. What if we approached our job differently and understood what makes us respond positively as individuals. Could this cause happiness at the work place?
Some would argue that there are various approaches to work – depending on whether one looks at it from the job, career or passion perspective – so to speak.
Satisfaction levels may in fact vary. If one views it as a job, compensation received from holding the position appeals more than anything else. If one is working at a career, personal development, status and power are the key drivers. Working at a passion will determine one’s satisfaction inevitably – regardless of the salary, prestige and status that it may bring.
These are of course generalisations that make one stop and think. Once you have identified what the role you are responsible for means for you, it would be time to work on the key ingredients that are so necessary in building satisfaction. Self-awareness, challenges, a balanced lifestyle and a sense of purpose at work would probably be some of the key ingredients to this concoction. Career change is good as well. Don’t be afraid to change career path. Yourself today will be very differenct than yourself 5, 10 or 15 years down the line, so do your priorities and values. You might have the confidence now to start a lucritive career in sales and marketing, for example, something you would have never thought about 10 years ago!
The myth of perfectionism sets up a sense of failure because it is an impossible ideal. It can also stop you from even trying at all because you know you are never going to make that 100%. Realistic thinking, taking your strengths and weaknesses into account, learning to be effective and efficient and non-pessimistic can move mountains. For at the end, self- confidence could be the foundation stone, regardless of whether you are applying for a job, are considering a career change or simply keen to make the most of life. The good news is that no matter how little confidence you have at the moment, it can be increased and job satisfaction will be attained.