Is True Job Satisfaction So Hard To Find?

For some people, it can be hard to pinpoint how, exactly, their job is failing to live up to their hopes and expectations

In an ideal world, we would all have jobs that we enjoy, are useful in themselves, and are satisfying to do. The good news is that, in the UK at least, the majority of people do seem to have a good level of job satisfaction with the epicentre of the country’s happiest workers appearing to be in the North East. Here, 18% of the people interviewed reported that they were “extremely satisfied” with their jobs, compared with just 10% of Londoners.

But, what about the other 33% of workers, which a 2017 survey by The Qualtrics Pulse found were dissatisfied with their jobs? This a considerable number of people who are obviously not leaping out of bed in the morning eager to confront the working day ahead. So, what could be the reasons for this, and what measures could be taken to improve their working lives?

Causes of complaint

For some people, it can be hard to pinpoint how, exactly, their job is failing to live up to their hopes and expectations. It may be a niggling suspicion that their time could be more productively employed. For other employees, it’s a desire to be their own boss and in charge of their own destiny – but it’s the risk involved in actually taking the plunge that keeps them working as unfulfilled employees.

Unfortunately for some people, it’s a question of finding themselves working for a company which suddenly reveals itself to be callous or uncaring in some way. This is particularly the case when an incident or event proves to be the catalyst for their dissatisfaction. Luckily, this only generally occurs in the most extreme cases and, in most instances, the sense of being in the wrong job is far more subtle than this.

Working the dream

This is borne out by other research that was carried out in 2018, which discovered that 70% of people interviewed didn’t consider that they were working in their ideal career. Those that were happiest tended to be working in areas in which there was a definite benefit for society, such as in the teaching industry, or caring professions such as nursing or looking after animals. Reasons for dissatisfaction were also very revealing, and these included a lack of opportunities for career progression, lower than expected pay, and a weak or unhelpful corporate culture.

Another area that has always been very popular is the leisure industry associated, naturally associated with cultivating entertainment and customer enjoyment. But there are a number of reasons why opportunities may be more limited in the sector. The first is that it’s fairly seasonal – as a look at the nation’s favourite summer jobs will reveal. The majority are in the leisure sector and offer few opportunities over the winter months.

Having said this, the changing face of many aspects of the leisure sector is also presenting new opportunities. To take the casino industry as an example, the increasing popularity of online casinos such as Betway has created a whole raft of new jobs that simply didn’t exist before. These range from design and technical roles such as game development, technical analysis, and so on; to more public-facing ones such as dealers in their “live” casino. Best of all, these are year-round opportunities that also offer real flexibility and prospects for career advancement. Furthermore, similar opportunities can be found in other sectors in the entertainment industry, such as gaming. For example, the growth in popularity of video gaming means that, similarly, the industry demands more developers and, simultaneously, the role of the games streamer on sites like Twitch is also becoming a viable career option, as the British eSports association explains.

Searching for satisfaction

So, what can we deduce about finding true job satisfaction? An in-depth analysis of more than 60 studies has come up with some surprising findings, as well as several more obvious ones. In the case of the former, it is that simply having a passion for something does not necessarily mean that indulging it will lead to job satisfaction. It’s far better to do a job and develop a passion for the work that you’re doing.

It’s also been found that there is no real correlation between job satisfaction and high rates of pay. Generally, feeling that one’s work is of real benefit is a far more enjoyable reward than a simple monetary one. So, the trick for achieving a fulfilling working life is to go into it with a combination of head and heart. Then, success and satisfaction should be guaranteed.

The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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