Improving Job Satisfaction

  | James Innes

Improving Job Satisfaction

Being unhappy in your job can have a devastating effect not only on your performance at work but also on your personal life. Going to work is something that the majority of us do for many hours a week and for many years so it is of vital importance that we strive to enjoy what we are doing.


If you start to feel that you are unhappy at work, you need to sit down and assess what possible reasons there may be for your dissatisfaction. Do you perhaps feel that your job is not very fulfilling? Are you not recognised for your achievements? Is there tension between the people you work with? Are you generally bored, uninspired and unchallenged? Also, think about what is happening in your personal life – there may be something there that is making your working life less enjoyable. It is only once you have ascertained the reasons for your unhappiness that you can start to think about how best to deal with it.

Instinctively, you may think that the best way of dealing with a job that you are not happy in is to leave it! However, this may well be a little bit hasty and there may be some changes that you can make which will improve your working life without the need for such a dramatic reaction. For example, you may be able to take on additional responsibilities therefore making your role more fulfilling, challenging and rewarding. You may be able to work with your current manager to establish a development plan that will help you to achieve greater satisfaction by meeting your career objectives. Or you may be able to learn new skills and undertake further training to enable you to progress further or move into a new department. If your reasons for being unhappy involve conflict within your team, there are ways of addressing this that may make the situation more bearable. Seek advice from your personnel manager or from your line manager where appropriate and even try confronting the people you work with to see if the situation can be managed.

You could try making the workplace generally more fun for yourself and those around you. Organise activities or events that involve getting together with your colleagues on a more sociable level. This can be as informal as a lunchtime chat or can be a large social event. Find ways of meeting new people and of networking within your organisation – getting an insight into other functions and other roles can be refreshing. Also, try to make sure that you maintain a healthy work-life balance, a topic discussed further in another article on this site.

If you feel unhappy because your working week is too long, it is important to discuss this issue with your manager to see if there is any way in which your work can be organised and prioritised more effectively. It is extremely demotivating to be spending too much time in the office and not enough time at home but often deadlines can be rearranged and workloads redistributed to enable you to enjoy the time you spend at work more.

However, it does sometimes happen that you just cannot make any difference to your working life to enable you to get the enjoyment out of it that you need to keep you motivated. If this is the case, then the time is indeed probably right for you to find alternative employment. It is important to remember exactly what you were unhappy with in your previous position so that you do not walk straight into another similar job that will be just as unsatisfying.

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