What price job satisfaction

Job satisfaction – have you got it? Probably not, looking at the myriad of recent surveys published about the workplace and our working habits and thoughts. But what exactly is ‘job satisfaction’ and can it be achieved anyway? Most jobs have a ‘boring’ side to them and if you can keep this below 20% then I guess that could be construed as job satisfaction!

It seems though that job satisfaction for the majority has declined steeply in the last few years: commuting blues, management and colleague issues, long hours, pressured environments and culture, salary, career progression, work-life balance…the list goes on. So, is job satisfaction a myth?

According to the CIPD bad management and a lack of support from employers has a huge part to play in this lack of job satisfaction, but is it all down to ‘someone else’ or are our expectations not out of proportion to what is possible?

Of course, we like to feel appreciated and valued, particularly as we spend a lot of time at work and have our free time encroached upon by our 24 hour connected society (hands up those who find it hard not to check their work emails when not at work), where your employer, and customers, have no issue with contacting you any time of day or night.

So, is it a lack of career progression? This can be an issue with ambitious individuals who feel they are treading water, leading to them becoming less then enthusiastic about working for you, and checking the internet for job opportunities!

The problem is universal across all age groups and generations. Indeed, a recent survey found that almost half of Generation-X employees want to start their own business in the next 10 years. The reason? Freedom, flexibility, challenge and job satisfaction.

This is probably not surprising since the traditional ‘career path’ has all but disappeared with no jobs for life anymore. It is likely that future generations will have a portfolio career where they embrace and follow a diverse path that is forever changing and evolving, taking in different and diverse sectors and functions along the way. Working to live, not living to work. But will it be satisfying?