Feeling Unfulfilled at Your Job?
Are you happy with your occupation? Does the end of your workday leave you with the exhilarating feeling of a job well-done? Perhaps you feel as though your job is too challenging, or not challenging enough? According to recent statistics, the chances of you being unhappy with your nine-to-five are more likely than not.
A recent household survey conducted by The Conference Board revealed that job dissatisfaction is very common among employees at all ages regardless of how much they earn. The study showed that only 47% of those surveyed claimed to be content with what they do for a living. In fact, the year 2005 was the last time the survey showed the majority of the country being satisfied with their jobs.
With job dissatisfaction looming, how can it be avoided? Or if you're already stuck in a job you don't find rewarding, what can you do about it?
First things first, we need to understand exactly what job satisfaction is. Job satisfaction can be divided into two subset concepts: intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction. The first form, intrinsic, considers the tasks and day-to-day on-goings of the job – basically, what you do for a living; are you a bank teller, waiter, fashion designer, or an accountant and are you content with that particular job title? The latter (extrinsic) involves the conditions of your job. Perhaps you work too far from home, or it could be that you find your boss unreasonable. Maybe your salary doesn't live up to your needs or the amount of involvement required by you.
Contemplating these two forms of worker satisfaction can assist in pin-pointing why you may consider yourself unhappy with your job. Should you find that your discontentment is mostly due to what you do day in and day out, then you are intrinsically dissatisfied. If the conditions of your job are what make you unhappy, then you are extrinsically dissatisfied.
How can I avoid ending up doing a job I hate?
The most critical thing to understand is that job satisfaction is highly influenced by job expectations. We usually expect too much from our occupations. Some individuals hold higher standards than others when it comes to what they expect from their job. Others expect less and end up up getting a whole lot more. You should always ask yourself what you expect from your job and whether those expectations are realistic or not. Clarify as many ambiguities with your employers as possible before accepting a job. Understand what is expected of you. You should also know that it's unlikely for you to be completely satisfied with every aspect of your job, nor is it likely for every aspect of your job to be completely unsatisfying.
Understand yourself. Know what you are interested in and what you are capable of doing. There are very few thing more taxing than waking up everyday to do something you do not enjoy. A good occupation is one that is more fulfilling to you instead of more demanding. If you are uncertain about any of these, consider consulting a career counselor.
I'm already doing a job I dislike. What do I do?
Talk about your discontentment. Find council among your friends, family, peers, and colleagues, or anyone able to help you deal with what you feel. Seek advice. Bottling up your frustration and unhappiness will only lead to other problems such as interpersonal issues, anxiety, and even depression. Pin-point exactly what is about your job that makes you unhappy (intrinsic and extrinsic aspects). Try to remember that your dissatisfaction with your job is mostly an indication of how well you are able to adjust to situations.
And lastly, consider the long-run benefits of not quitting. If you see your career progressing in the future, then your present dissatisfaction may be worth putting up with. Remember that nothing of value ever comes easily, and that perseverance is the key to a successful career.
Best of luck.
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