By: Edward Chalmers
Each of us sometimes questions why we devote so much time, energy and expertise to our current job. We wonder whether it’s time for a change and we begin to read employment ads or dream of starting our own business. Before deciding to submit your resignation, examine if your job is fulfilling your needs.
It’s not always about money
Job satisfaction is rarely measured by the size of the paycheck; although above average remuneration can make less than stellar working conditions a little more bearable. Highway construction site flag men and swampers on garbage trucks perform important duties that some of us would not want to do for more than a summer job. They find their jobs fulfilling and rewarding because they recognize that they play important roles in society.
In an office environment, opportunities for advancement and recognition of each individual’s contributions and talents are big influences on whether a job is fulfilling. The less stress there is, the better, but most men will accept a certain amount of pressure if they feel recognized and respected.
How well an employee relates to the company’s leadership style and corporate values are also key factors in job satisfaction. Fair rewards in terms of salary and benefits, good working conditions and appropriate employee empowerment are all strong motivators that promote job satisfaction.
Here are some questions to ask to measure if your job fulfills you:
Do you enjoy going to work?
When it’s a real struggle getting up every day, it could be an indicator that you’re stressed, burnt out or unfulfilled. If you’re dragging yourself out of bed in the morning and it’s not because you stayed up too late or partied too hard, your body and brain may be trying to tell you something. Good working conditions, the camaraderie of a team environment and duties you enjoy will make it more fun to go to work. Feeling inspired and energized by your boss and the company’s leadership is even better.
Are your expectations reasonable?
You cannot have executive privileges in an entry-level position. Jumping ship because you don’t have as much time off as you’d like would be irresponsible and immature. Even though you have education, enthusiasm and energy on your side, you still need to work your way up the corporate ladder by earning respect and privileges, and proving yourself.
Examine your job and your attitude objectively before deciding to pull the pin because you don’t feel fulfilled. Stop being negative. And quit hanging around the copier with the whiners or you’ll get sucked into their spiral of negativity.
Is your work stimulating?
Everyone needs challenges and rewards in their day-to-day work. If you don’t feel you’re making a difference, perhaps you could expand your role by asking for more responsibilities. Smart bosses encourage their staff to try new tasks and learn new skills, even if they might make a mistake. Look at the things you enjoy about your work and offer to take on additional duties to increase your sense of purpose.
Do you feel respected and valued?
When a company’s corporate culture incorporates management listening to their staff and celebrating successes together, people will find their jobs more fulfilling. New ideas and well thought out, concrete suggestions to improve productivity, increase sales and reduce customer complaints ought to be encouraged. Workers at every level need to feel that their efforts are important. Whether you are dealing with difficult customers or working on design plans for the new website, if you feel that your contribution to the corporation’s success is important, you’ll feel personally successful and fulfilled. Too much unpaid overtime with no thanks and no end in sight is discouraging.
Is your integrity intact?
Are you proud of where you work and what you do? When your values align with the company’s corporate values and vision, you’re bound to feel better about your job. Having to be dishonest with your customers because sales quotas are more important than service and integrity is a bad sign. If you would not be comfortable describing a typical workday to your family and friends, maybe you’re not in the right job. No matter how big your paycheck is, it’s essential to retain your self-esteem and self-respect.
Does your job fit in with your 5-year plan?
Evaluate your long-term goals and look for the growth potential in your current job. Seek out learning opportunities, from company-sponsored courses and seminars to job shadowing to working on additional projects. Find a mentor in a more senior manager whose style and skills you admire.
Even if some aspects of your job are boring, concentrate on creating a network of allies that will eventually help you as you climb the corporate ladder. When you look at the big picture and work toward your career goals, you might see how your present position is fulfilling a need.
This article is provided by LTC