Many of the career coaching clients I work with feel that it’s a pipe dream to love their job. Even though they are deeply unhappy they are petrified to leave the comfort zone of their current role in case the next job is worse. Some even feel guilty for wanting a job they love because they feel they should be grateful for what they have instead of wanting more. Positive psychology research has identified job satisfaction as a fundamental pillar of life satisfaction so it makes complete sense to want to change your job if you are not happy at work.
Others are aware that if they leave their job they will not earn as much elsewhere and don’t want to let go of their income even though they are miserable. What’s really important to know is that research has consistently proven over a certain threshold better pay has only a small correlation between job and life satisfaction.
So, what enables us to feel satisfied at work? Research shows that your job satisfaction is affected 45% by individual factors your personality and life events but the good news is the majority 55% is attributed to work factors which can be controlled or changed.
Six factors consistently emerge as the most influential to job satisfaction:
- Task Variety
- Working Conditions (this includes organisational culture)
- Educational opportunities (this includes the chance to grow, learn and develop through work)
Mark your satisfaction with your job under the six factors above, using the scale below:
- What would need to change in order for you to feel more satisfied at work in each of these areas?
- Can these changes be made in your current job or place of employment?
- What kind of role and organisation would support you to meet these needs?
- What would life be like if these needs were met?
- What sacrifices are you willing to make to achieve these needs?
Answering these questions is difficult but valuable. My passion is to support people to find work they love through answering powerful questions like these. More information can be found on the one-to-one career coaching programme I run via Skype or in person here: Career Coaching Programme.
Rath, T. & Harter, J. (2010) Wellbeing. The Five Essential Elements. New York: Gallup Press.
Yates, J. (2014) The Career Coaching Handbook. Oxon: Routledge.