10 Keys to Job Satisfaction, Backed By Research

3 minute read
Barker is the author of Barking Up The Wrong Tree

  • Right now most people are unhappy with their jobs. A boring job can give you a heart attack. And those with no job are happier than those with a lousy one. Most people want to leave their jobs because they don’t trust their employer. Know what the happiest and unhappiest jobs are and what motivates you.
  • “…the strongest determinants of job satisfaction are relations with colleagues and supervisors, task diversity and job security.”
  • Job satisfaction isn’t just about your job. Try to make yourself happier: overall happiness causes job satisfaction more than job satisfaction causes overall happiness. (Employers should try to make their employees happier too: happy employees make for rich companies.)
  • Job satisfaction is key because work is often a bigger source of happiness than home, ironically.
  • Stop thinking so much about money. Income doesn’t affect job satisfaction at all and job satisfaction affects income more than you might think. Happiness is only about what you earn when you get paid by the hour. Being paid for performance dramatically increases job satisfaction. More importantly, happiness makes us successful – yes, that’s causation, not correlation.
  • Happy feelings are associated with “the fulfillment of psychological needs: learning, autonomy, using one’s skills, respect, and the ability to count on others in an emergency.” Try to structure your job so it fulfills as many of those as possible.
  • To reduce job stress get a clear idea of what is expected of you. Overtime isn’t worth it.
  • On the weekend get away from work and stay active so you’re not always thinking about it. People who saw time as money had more difficulty enjoying leisure time.
  • Have a good relationship with your boss. A boss you trust is better than a big raise. A little ass-kissing is good for your health. Being friendly with co-workers is vital too.
  • Even prostitutes can be very happy with their work. Enjoying our jobs has a great deal to do with how much control we feel we have and whether we’re doing things we’re good at.
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    This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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