What IS Job Satisfaction?

If I had even a nickle for the thousands of people through my life who have said that they dislike or even hate their jobs, I would not need to work! Literally. This year, job satisfaction has hit a 22 year low in the United States. Money is the driver, by the way. That is probably no surprise. Yet, equally surprising: that is not the root cause. We simply are not happy doing what we are doing! Money is NOT the answer.

How do we get into alignment?  Two basic thoughts to consider:

1. Redefine success. “Making it” is not the same for everyone. Ha! Newsflash! Scaling the corporate ladder, making a $600k salary and $5 million bonus is not everyone’s definition of ‘making it’. Nor is being a chancellor of the school system, principal of the charter school, or executive director of a non profit organization for others. We need to get in touch with how we define success AND that there is no ‘right’ answer. The answers are ours – and ours alone.

2. Take stock in the ‘good stuff’.  That may be flexible hours for some, 401k for others, freedom to pursue our own dreams, watching a child pass English or math for the first time, or global travel. Whatever it is that makes us ‘tick’ at this stage in our lives – embrace it! Go for whatever our current roles offer us – it will be different (not better) for each stage of our lives.

We define own our job satisfaction. If our environment is not giving us fertile ground for us to have this or grow this – then we must seek another place. Yet, what I have realized is that we own, on many levels, our own satisfaction in our jobs.