Kelly fulfilled her father’s dream and became a lawyer. Unfortunately, she found being a lawyer tiresome. Long hours, tremendous pressure, and many tedious details proved to play to her weaknesses and were very little fun.
The job was lucrative, but telling herself that no job is perfect and she ought to be happy to have a job couldn’t quell the gnawing sense that she might need to make a change.
Are you like Kelly, feeling dissatisfied or stuck in your job? Answer the questions below to assess your situation.
How’s It Working for You?
1. Have you been considering a job or career change for more than six months?
2. Have duties been taken away from you?
3. Has it been longer than three years since you had a promotion?
4. Are you worried about job security?
5. Do you feel underpaid?
6. Do you feel unappreciated?
7. Is your job affecting your health?
8. In your present position are you repeating yourself, not growing in responsibility?
9. Has a colleague, a member of your family, or a friend suggested that you search for another job?
10. Are your tasks increasing without a pay increase?
11. Does work interfere with your personal life?
12. Do you suspect a layoff, takeover, or company merger?
13. Are rewards and recognition for your work hard to come by?
14. Are you concerned about the quality of your company’s product or service?
15. Is your company falling behind competitively in today’s tough market?
16. Are you excluded from the decision-making process?
17. Is your present position keeping you from meeting your goals?
18. Are you in need of more income than your job is providing?
19. Have you already mentally shut yourself out from your job?
20. Is your work adding stress to your primary relationships?
ADD UP ALL YOUR “YES” ANSWERS
1-5 Yes Answers: Great! Use those as indicators about where to focus on making your present job better.
6-10 Yes Answers: You may have peaked or begun a transitional period. It may be time to investigate ways to expand. Look within your organization first. You may discover a new project or opportunity that could use your abilities and incorporate your goals.
11 or More Yes Answers: Serious work is needed for your security and financial future. If these issues go unchecked, you may find yourself one of the first victims of a downsizing or stuck in a no-growth situation. Again, always work on your present situation along with a job search
Work can consume eighty percent of our waking hours. A job that is a poor fit, full of stress and conflicts, worry about layoffs or an unpredictable boss can drain vital energy from our lives. Besides, trading vitality for a paycheck can affect long-term earnings as well. If you don’t like your work, your attitude will likely suffer. Or the energy it takes to manage your negative emotions may hurt your productivity and relationships.
You won’t be a star performer, and you might not even be seen as a contributor. Your raises or promotions may be slow to come, and a vicious cycle begins. You get discouraged, your attitude gets worse, and your performance diminishes. A downward spiral is difficult to stop.
There are two ways to increase your job satisfaction (you can do both if you like). First, work on your communication and relationships at work to improve conditions, if possible. Second, make sure that you spend a significant part of your day on tasks you like and perform well. Reduce or eliminate the tasks you don’t like, or if that’s not possible, consider a transfer or looking for a new job.
Money matters in career decisions, and job satisfaction is the foundation on which productivity, earning, and meaning depend. You’re likely to earn more than those who are not happy in their work. Pursuing more satisfying work, even in a difficult economy, is possible; it just requires a good strategy and thoughtful action.