Recent research claims that 1 in 5 people work in jobs that they are poorly suited to. Despite having the skills and knowledge to physically do the job, many people find themselves working in positions they have no passion for. They endure however because they feel there is no other option. But why would anyone do that?
The obvious answer is there are bills to pay and a lifestyle to maintain. After all any job is better than no job isn’t it? There will always be the time and place for working in an unfulfilling job. Some jobs are a means to an end – short term pain in effect, as we work toward a bigger, longer term gain.
In previous generations, workers stayed with the one employer for their whole career. This is now rare. Today’s employees increasingly want job satisfaction, not just a regular pay packet. So why is job satisfaction such a big deal?
There are a number of reasons. Firstly, we want to be able to contribute. I remember hearing about a work crew told to dig a hole one particular day, only to be told to fill it in again the following day. The team worked hard. They achieved their daily objectives, and earned their wages. But they contributed nothing. Other than those who received wages, no one benefited from their efforts. They produced nothing of any substance or value.
Productivity typically brings a sense of self satisfaction and achievement. This is because we can see tangible or intangible outcomes for our efforts. Whether our contribution is direct or indirect doesn’t really matter, as long as we are part of something bigger and someone’s life is impacted in one way or another.
Next time we’ll explore some of the other ways in which job satisfaction can impact our lives and take us to places we could never thought possible.
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