What is job satisfaction?
Job satisfaction is defined as:
“the extent to which employees are happy or content with their jobs and work environment.”
As simple as it might seem, the reality of job satisfaction across the world is quite complicated.
In recent years, companies have been spending a lot of money on increasing job satisfaction and hoping for better employee engagement.
Research has shown that not a lot has changed during the last 10 years.
Only 15% of workers feel satisfied with their work worldwide, which means lower productivity, poorer performance, more job stress and eventually high employee turnover rates across the world.
Many centuries ago, a popular saying of Confucius would state;
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
But today’s truth is different as job satisfaction has become much more than just love towards your job.
Important job satisfaction factors?
In our nowadays economy it combines numerous factors related to the job itself (intrinsic factors: job-related tasks) as well as to the work environment (extrinsic factors: colleagues, supervisors, pay).
While some of the important satisfaction factors depend on the employer such as pay, job benefits, trust, job security, surprisingly or not, there are certain factors that are within the employee’s control.
Here are 5 of them to help you achieve job satisfaction in 2019.
- Discover your personal values
- Explore your company’s values
- Bring into line your personal and your company’s values
- Match the purpose and meaning of your work
- Think and act positively
Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
#1. DISCOVER YOUR PERSONAL VALUES
Values are what you believe matters most in your life.
While discovering one’s personal values takes a lifetime of experience, knowing those values increases our confidence by creating a sense of stability and safety in one’s life and work.
Growing up our parents and grandparents pass their values on to us, but it is up to us to confirm or reject those values during our life and our own experiences.
If you want to explore your values, there are certain tips you can follow.
Start by asking yourself, “What matters most to me?”
What matters most to you should also be used at your work.
If you value collaboration most, ask yourself if you collaborate often enough with your colleagues, interns or clients.
Another way of looking at values is through one’s strengths.
When our values are aligned with our strengths and when we use both of them at our work, that’s when we achieve maximum confidence and satisfaction.
If you want to find out more about your strengths, take a look at this free strengths finder I was recommended recently. It is a 15-minute online test that will identify your top 5 strengths.
#2. EXPLORE YOUR COMPANY’S VALUES
It is essential for every employee to comprehend what their company stands for.
Company’s values shape company’s culture and every employee is part of that culture.
knowing the company’s values means knowing what you are being part of as an employee.
While it is not always very explicit, there are certain aspects of the company’s life that help us discover its values.
You can start by exploring the company’s vision, mission and goals (they are most usually found on the company’s website).
It might seem lame to go back to company’s vision and mission especially if you have worked for that company for a long time, but it is a good reminder of what the company values and what it aspires to be.
Just like in the case of personal values, company values are also explored by studying the company’s strengths.
What is your company good at?
Does your company combine its strengths and values to achieve its goals?
You can answer these questions by asking your supervisor, by consulting with your colleagues, or by simply following the reviews online about your company (be careful to identify authentic content).
By answering these questions you will apprehend better the working style of your company.
#3. BRING INTO LINE YOUR PERSONAL AND YOUR COMPANY’S VALUES
Now that you know your personal values and your company’s values, it is time to align those two.
According to recent research, having personal values in line with company’s values is considered by most employees to be more important for job satisfaction than pay.
While it might sound unexpected, it is rather logical.
Focusing on areas where the company’s values match your personal values increases your motivation, which, in turn, results in an upsurge in your work performance and engagement.
Give yourself some time to take a closer look at the alignment between values.
Are there areas where you could exercise your values in a more constructive way?
Are there projects/tasks where your value alignment would be an even stronger asset for the company?
Understanding this will help you utilize your values in the areas where the company needs them most.
#4. MATCH THE PURPOSE AND MEANING OF YOUR WORK
You have probably heard many times that finding purpose is fundamental for your work.
But what is more significant is the ability to match the purpose and meaning of your work.
When these two go hand in hand together, that’s when you achieve most satisfaction doing your job.
The same is applicable to your life – once you have found purpose and meaning in your life, it becomes easier and more enjoyable to wake up every day and live your best life.
Do not always go big when trying to find purpose. Purpose could be found in small things like helping out less experienced colleagues or trying to create an accepting atmosphere at work.
Key to finding purpose is to concentrate on the process rather than the grandeur of the outcome.
When looking for purpose and meaning at work, take a look back at your values and strengths (#1).
What are the values that give meaning and purpose to your work?
What are the strengths that can help you most to excel in your journey towards finding purpose?
Go small, there is always a purpose in much smaller things than you thought.Key to finding purpose is to concentrate on the process rather than the grandeur of the outcome. Click To Tweet
#5. THINK AND ACT POSITIVELY
Many researchers and practitioners have studied the influence of positive thinking on one’s self-confidence and motivation.
One of them, a leading positive psychology expert Barbara Fredrickson, has proved that when we face a challenge with a positive state of mind, we tend to explore more options and opportunities than when we are in a negative state of mind.
So when we are given a thought-provoking project at work, starting it off with positive thoughts and attitude increases our chances of succeeding in that project.
Succeeding will bring satisfaction with one’s work, which, in its turn, will positively influence one’s self-confidence.
While it is not as easy as it might seem on paper, positive thinking has a lot of advantages for job satisfaction starting with self-confidence, better work performance and stronger relationships with colleagues.
If you would like to know more about successful career building, take a look at this guide to first steps in dream career building.
About the author:
Anatoli Chernyaev is a content marketing manager born in Armenia and currently residing in Lyon, France. He writes about various topics such as self-awareness, positive thinking, personal development, and career advice.