What is it that makes a job satisfying? People differ on what they seek from work. For some, doing work that you love for an organization that you believe in is paramount, and purpose and meaning override all thoughts of income or even profession. Think, for instance, of those who put heart and soul into an NGO or a volunteer organization.
There are those who value the freedom to put their ideas into practice, to give free rein to their creativity. Artists and writers come to mind. Some entrepreneurs, and many self-employed people come into this category.
Those who work for a company or organization derive satisfaction from doing interesting work, for recognition of their work, from relationships, and from incentives provided by the employer such as salary and career advancement.
For many of us especially during these times of limited employment opportunities, we have to be satisfied with a job that gives us an income, even though we may not love the work. There are three aspects of a job that, if approached with an attitude of positive change, can transform your job to one that is meaningful and rewarding.
Relationship with the Employer
If you feel that you have a good a relationship with the employer or employing organization, this brings a sense of connectedness without which it would be difficult to make improvements in your work. When you believe in, or at least agree with what the organization is trying to accomplish, you can align your efforts toward that objective and feel a sense of satisfaction that you are a contributing member.
Therefore, one part of the list below has to do with what you can do to improve your relationship with the organization, and what you can do in this line to make your job more satisfying.
Even though your job may be defined and requires a specified set of activities, it’s possible with a can-do attitude to make many changes that will improve your motivation and interest.
Developing good relationships takes time and care. But in the long run, this can be one of the most satisfying experiences from your job. Develop your skills in listening and providing positive feedback. These skills will stay with you throughout life, and be potentially the most important outcomes of that job.
Incorporating the three factors discussed above, here are ten things you can do to increase satisfaction with your job:
1. Build on your relationship with your employer
Make your job more meaningful by understanding the mission and goals of your organization and taking part in furthering its objectives. This may mean volunteering for a task force or committee whose work interests you, or simply getting clear on how your work participation benefits the organization.
2. Contribute toward improving the workplace
When you see something which can be done to improve the productivity or functioning of the organization, bring this up at a meeting, or talk with a responsible administrator. Involvement in improving the workplace will add to your feeling of being a contributing member of the organization.
3. Take part in opportunities provided by the organization
This may be in special projects, training opportunities, employee benefit programs, etc.
4. Organize your work; set daily goals
Make your desk an efficient center with resources at your fingertips. Take a comprehensive view of your daily workload, and reorganize to be more effective. To the extent possible, you can alternate the unappealing tasks with those that you enjoy. Plan each day on what you intend to accomplish. Meeting the goal at the end of the day will bring a sense of satisfaction.
5. Take stock of yourself in relation to your future goals
Where are you in relation to your future goals? What can you accomplish or learn on this job that will help you move toward those goals. When you examine your work in relation to this question, you will see many ways in which what you do each day will take you a step closer toward what you want to do in the future.
6. Set some self-improvement goals
Think of how you can add to your learning and skills in your work which will bring you personal satisfaction in moving toward your goals. This can be to improve your computer skills, to learn a technical skill related to your work, to improve your writing, or to become more organized and efficient.
7. Take up a creative pastime
If your work becomes too intensive, too cerebral, or boring, take up a personal project that is creative. This is something you can focus on during breaks or lunch time, and will be something you will look forward to. It can be to develop a line for self-employment as something to move into in the future.
8. Take time to relax and stretch out
Take mini-breaks during the day to do ergonomic exercises, or to stretch and walk.
9. Treat yourself
Bring a snack you enjoy and can look forward to having during breaks.
10. Interact with coworkers
Develop relationships with coworkers and others in the organization. Exchanging ideas and experiences can further your knowledge and skills, and also add meaning to your work. The networking that you establish can be an asset for a future job.
The world of work is changing rapidly. Job openings will shift as baby boomers retire, and new occupations will be created influenced by technological advances, by demographic changes, and from globalization. It is predicted that people will be changing jobs as often as every three years.
All of this point to the necessity of taking stock of yourself, and making the present job count and contribute toward your professional goals. Increasing job satisfaction in the above manner takes on a larger importance in this perspective.
How do you increase your job satisfaction? Share your tips below!
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One of the ways to find out easily how you’re doing as an organization when it comes to employee satisfaction, is start measuring employee satisfaction. Measuring employee satisfaction helps you to find out in which areas you’re doing well in which areas might need some extra attention. You can start measuring employee satisfaction by having one of these engagement consulting firms helping you, by doing it yourself or by using one of these web applications that measure employee satisfaction.
I agree with Emile but sadly more and more organisations are focusing on the bottom line and not employee satisfaction – which is more long-term goal oriented and produces better numbers. Great list, though. 🙂
Thank you for your comment Emile. I absolutely agree with you – the employers should focus more on the employee satisfaction – it is the best way for any organization to improve its productivity in the long run.
Awesome post !!
employee satisfaction comes first for any type of business or job.If employees are not satisfied with work then they would not perform well at any cost.
Thank you for your comment Manisha, I’m glad you liked my article – feel free to pass it along to anyone you think would be interested in this topic.
I like number six! I think it’s important that we continue to stretch ourselves both in our personal, and in our business lives!
I agree, lifelong learning is becoming increasingly important in this knowledge-based economy. Feel free to share the article with anyone you think might find it useful. Thanks!