We are living in a fast and unpredictable world where every day is a challenge. The competition can overwhelm you at any moment. Under such circumstances, it is imperative for every working individual to experience job satisfaction. It brings us to the question of what job satisfaction is.
What is job satisfaction?
Job satisfaction is about being able to fulfil your potential while being creative at the same time, and having a feeling that you can make a difference to your life as well as the lives of others around you.
Job satisfaction is a relative term. Your measure of job satisfaction is different from your neighbours. There is a very famous joke that goes like this.
“There was a competition between all the essential items that we use every day as to who had the worst level of job satisfaction. The toothbrush was raving and ranting that it had the least enjoyable job in the world in spite of its tremendous utility. It was true until it met the toilet paper roll. Need I say anything more on this issue now?”
Before we go into the aspects of seeing how to attain job satisfaction, we should know about some of the tell-tale signs of job dissatisfaction.
Whenever you embark on a new job or responsibility, you do so with a sense of great enthusiasm. You need this enthusiasm and optimism to be successful in life. Successful people are those that enjoy doing what they do. But, it is human nature to be dissatisfied with your job at times. The trick in managing job satisfaction is to identify these signs and take steps to overcome them.
Ten signs that you are experiencing dissatisfaction in your job without even realising it
- Boredom – Boredom is a common issue whenever you face dissatisfaction in your job. You start browsing the social media or read Quora articles that do not have any connection with your job on hand. Of course, reading such items is not a bad thing at all, but it should not be at the cost of your work. Wasting precious time in this manner is a tell-tale sign of boredom.
- Distraction – Usually, you focus on your work when you are on the job. External noises like the ringing of the phone bell, or the smell of fresh food should not be a distraction. However, when you face job dissatisfaction, these minor issues blow out of proportion. When there is a distraction, you lose your concentration. The loss in intensity is enough to reduce your productivity levels.
- Procrastination – There is a very old saying that goes like this, “That you have to do tomorrow, do it today. That you have to do it today, do it now.” But, when you do not have the job satisfaction, you tend to put off doing these tasks. Does putting off a task solve the problem? No, it does not. On the contrary, the responsibilities start to pile up thereby becoming unmanageable in the end.
- Low levels of punctuality – One of the vital signs of job dissatisfaction is lack of punctuality. You start for office late in the mornings and disregard your schedules of exit. Your job loses its importance for you as you keep on trying to avoid it.
- Low levels of productivity – Job dissatisfaction means that you give less effort thereby resulting in lower levels of productivity. You start taking an hour to complete tasks that you once used to do within ten minutes. It signifies that something is not right with your job satisfaction levels.
- Not giving your best – All the above factors add up thereby resulting in you not giving it your best shot. You do not put in the level of effort necessary to do a satisfactory job. You can say that you develop a nonchalant attitude towards work.
- Irritability – The more your disinclination towards your work, the more irritable you become. You start arguing with your co-workers, colleagues, bosses, and even your clients over trivial matters. You strain your personal relations with people.
- Attending to mundane personal activities during work time – When you have optimum levels of job satisfaction, you do not usually find time in the office to do your personal work. But, the moment you start enjoying doing your personal work more than your office work during office hours, it is time for you to get a new job.
- Going on leave frequently – Gong on holiday occasionally is a healthy thing to do. It helps you recharge your batteries. However, if the frequency increases, it has a detrimental effect on your productivity.
- Monday morning blues – Who does not like to have a happy and enjoyable weekend? After all, that is what we all look for in life. It is natural for you to have some depression on a Monday morning as it signals the start of a new week. But, if you start spending your weekends dreading Monday mornings, it becomes an epidemic.
Usually, everyone goes through such periods in life. The problem starts only when the frequencies of such events increase. These are the visible signs of job dissatisfaction that should worry you.
The Consequences of Job dissatisfaction
Every person experiences these issues in life. Let us see how it affects you and those around you.
- Stress – Stress is a significant consequence of job dissatisfaction. When you are not satisfied with the job you do, you end up feeling a lot of stress. It starts showing on your face and in your behavior towards people. You start getting irritable at minor issues.
- Strain in your family relationships – One of the most significant consequences of job dissatisfaction is bringing your official problems home. You start venting your displeasure and anger on the people near and dear to you thereby putting a lot of strain in your family relations.
- The adverse effect on your health – Naturally, stress and strain can result in developing of health issues. You start losing your appetite thereby jeopardizing your health further. It can have disastrous consequences if you allow the situation to drift along without finding a solution.
- Lack of motivation – The more unsatisfied with your job, the more you lose the motivation to do things. You end up in a situation that needs pushing yourself to do simple tasks. This lack of motivation is the direct fallout of job dissatisfaction.
- Affects job performance – These consequences will have to end somewhere. Where do they end? It results in affecting your performance at your job. You start going down on the efficiency graph thereby earning a bad name and reputation.
- Financial instability – The final fallout of job dissatisfaction is that you end up resigning from your job. It can naturally bring in a state of economic uncertainty. Would you like to be in such a position? Typically, you would not. What should you do now?
How do you address these issues?
We share a small anecdote from the life of Swami Vivekananda. A young Narendranath (Swamiji’s actual name) was walking along the road when a group of monkeys started harassing him. Not knowing what to do, the young fellow started running, with the monkeys in full pursuit. Just then, he heard a stern voice call out from nowhere, “Turn around and face the brutes.” In doing so, the monkeys started retreating. The young Narendranath learned a valuable lesson that day. “Running away from a problem does not solve it. On the contrary, it becomes severe. The ideal way to resolve any problem in life is to face it head-on.”
Our problem of job satisfaction is similar in many ways. Let us see the different ways to address these issues.
- Bring in the sense of positivity – Our attitude in life is a critical factor in determining how we handle our problems. A positive attitude always helps. How do you develop a positive attitude? People usually refer to the ‘Half-full or the Half-empty glass syndrome” to define optimism or pessimism. In fact, I believe that the glass is always full. It is half-filled with water with air occupying the other half. Hence, you can say that the glass is still full. It is a sign of positivity. A positive attitude changes the way you look at problems. In that, you find a solution to it.
- Analyse your career choices – What does it mean when you do not experience job satisfaction? It is time to analyze whether it was the right job for you. You should also examine the alternate choices you have. Sticking to a job you do not like is not good both for you and your employer. You are doing your employer a great injustice by continuing with a job you do not enjoy doing. Look out for better career options.
- Learn something new in life (either related or unrelated to your field) – One of the significant reasons for job dissatisfaction is reaching the level of stagnation in your job. Acquiring a new qualification or skill can help you progress further in the organization. A higher post will bring different responsibilities. You will overcome the monotonous nature of your job by doing something different.
- Update your resume – Adding a new qualification makes you more marketable. Naturally, you should update your resume by adding these qualifications in your social media profiles as well. You can catch the eye of an employer who might need your services.
- Brush up your interview skills (be ready to take the plunge and seek a new job) – There is no sense in continuing with the same job, especially when you do not have the heart to do it. Move on in life to something more exciting. You need to apply for new jobs and attend new interviews. Brushing up your interview skills becomes imperative. Clearing these interviews is necessary if you wish to take the plunge and seek a new job.
- Try relocating to your native place – Homesickness can also cause job dissatisfaction. If you come across an equal or better opportunity in your hometown, you should consider pursuing it. You will be in the midst of people who you are comfortable with all the time. It can encourage you to give you best at the job you do. Naturally, it leads to a higher level of job satisfaction.
- Indulge in activities you enjoy doing – We go back to the definition of job satisfaction that mentions doing things that fulfill your potential. Indulging in activities you enjoy doing is one way of realizing your potential. Automatically, you attain job satisfaction resulting in overall happiness for you and those around you.
Things you have to look into
Job satisfaction has got psychological overtones. Here are some things you should note when you look forward to attaining job satisfaction.
- Have a realistic view of your expectations – Can you expect your job to give the privileges that the President of the United States enjoys? Of course, you do not. Maintain a realistic view of the expectations of your organization. Having unrealistic expectations can only bring stress anxiety and frustration.
- Recognize good work of your subordinates – Appreciate the good work that your subordinates do. It not only enhances their morale but also makes it easier for you to extract the optimum from them. You need this cooperation when you work as a team.
- Focus on long-term gains – You might lose the odd battle here and there, but winning the war is crucial. Hence, you should focus on your long-term benefits. Focus on where you like to reach ten years from now. Put in your efforts to attain the goal.
- Communicate effectively with people – Understand the difference between communication and effective communication. Effective communication is when you arouse an eager want in the person who does the job for you. It helps in working towards a common goal.
- Care for those around you, (both at work and at home) – When you are in a managerial position or running a start-up unit, you need to keep your subordinates or employees happy. Show that you genuinely care for them. There are two aspects to this, the physical well-being and mental well-being. Concentrate on the psychological well-being more as it plays a tremendous role in eliminating the stress, anxiety, and fear from their lives. If your employees attain job satisfaction, you automatically attain yours. Similarly, care for those around you at home.
- Reduce focus on the perks – Perks are nice to have, but focusing on the perks more than the job on hand does not give you the job satisfaction. Perks are necessary, but they do not help to retain people.
- Improve your relationship with people – When you attain job satisfaction, your outlook towards life changes. You start enjoying life more than ever before. It shows in your behaviour with people. It helps improve your relationships with people both at your workplace and your home. Your happiness rubs on to their personality. As a result, they become happy as well. It is indeed a contagious feeling.
Job satisfaction is one thing everyone should look up to in life. It brings with it happiness to one and all.