In a recent Job Satisfaction survey less than half of American workers are happy or satisfied in their current job.
According to the current edition of The Conference Board Job Satisfaction survey, and for the eighth straight year, less than half of US workers are satisfied with their jobs. In 2013, the percentage of workers satisfied with their jobs was 47.7, well below the historical level of 61.1 percent in 1987. Increasing by a mere 0.4 percentage points from the previous year, overall job satisfaction continues to improve from its lowest point (42.6 percent in 2010), albeit at a disappointingly slow pace.
This lack of satisfaction isn’t a new development but has been the case for eight years. Imagine doing something for EIGHT years that makes you unhappy.
Granted, there are times when we feel stuck in our position; there aren’t other options within your company, you haven’t found other openings that interest you in your field or you feel obligated to stay because of the pay or benefits.
How do you manage being unsatisfied at work? How do you turn things around? How do you manage to create an atmosphere of job satisfaction currently?
Control What You Can
A colleague was going through a company sale/acquistion and the environment was hostile; however, she couldn’t leave before the sale went through because she’d lose her severance, which was substantial. However, the idea of going to work and being negative everyday wasn’t appealing; not only that, it was unhealthy. So she looked ahead on the calendar and selected her “last day” at random. The sale wasn’t complete and she didn’t really know her last day, but the idea of selecting a day that signified the end of the current situation was actually very liberating. When that day came on the calendar, she ended up having to move it once more, but again, she was in control. It really was a helpful exercise.
Often times at work things are out of our control. The best way to ‘endure’ is to find something you do have control over. By picking a date on the calendar she had something to look forward to. She planned to open her own business with the severance check so she really was excited about the next phase of her life. She just needed to make it until then. She assessed her current situation, fixed what she could and found a way to deal with what she couldn’t.
What is Important to Job Satisfaction?
The Society of Human Resource Managers also conducts regular surveys and in a 2013 report, they identified what factors of a job are important to employees. If you are a manager, understanding what is important to your employees is an important part of leadership. Check out this graphic from the SHRM Research Report.
What is it about your current professional position that you like? Focus your efforts on that until you can make a change. And don’t be afraid of making a change. If you are truly unhappy with your current job; it may be time to do some intense review. What would you enjoy doing? Is it the job or the environment?
Hopefully you are part of the satisfied statistics, but if not, find one thing you can do to make it more enjoyable.