A recent report by the Conference Board found that job satisfaction in the US has dropped to a record low of 45%.
More than 55% of Americans are unhappy in their jobs, with a whopping 64% of workers under age 25 reporting dissatisfaction.
We have many ideas and opinions about what’s most important in a job. Top water-cooler theories include:
Research has shown that the content of your job is more important than the context of your job.
In other words, what you do every day is more important than why you do it, or the coworkers you work with.
The good news is that we all have different skills that we enjoy using and skills that we hate using. In the working world, one person’s trash truly is another person’s treasure.
For example, I love listening to people, and helping them to understand what drives them. I love learning what’s important to others, what makes them happy, what gives them strength.
I have some friends with very short attention spans. They can barely sit still to listen to a short story, let alone work with clients one-on-one for 45 minutes at a time.
My definition of a dream job – coaching others to achieve their potential – would be my friends’ definition of torture. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Individual tastes and differences help ensure our job security.
The missing link in this formula, where many people are unemployed and underemployed, is that at least 55% of us haven’t found the job that best utilizes our talents.
Think about the last time you were doing something you loved. You were excited, happy, and felt confident and free. If you could bottle that feeling, you would.
Good news – you can bottle that feeling. Here’s the recipe. Jot down what you were doing when you felt it. Then jot down every other thing you’ve done that made you feel that way. Then look at how you can create more of those moments in your life.
Every time you’ve created another “doing something you love” moment, you’ve opened the bottle.
Now imagine if your workday consisted of moment after moment of that feeling. Imagine how happy you’d be. Now imagine your boss, coworkers, clients, vendors, and anyone you interact with during the day. If you were constantly in that space of being excited, happy, confident and free, how would people respond to you?
Chances are, you’d become pretty popular. Clients would want to work with you, coworkers would want to partner with you, and your boss would want to keep you happy.
Think about how that would affect your outputs at work. Sales would be up, your performance measurements would be high, and you’d count supporters across the company as members of your personal fan club.
Now imagine there’s an economic downturn. Your company has to make cuts. In assessing who to cut, they’re likely looking at a combination of outputs and fit.
Because you’ve become a model employee who is exceeding expectation, luring in and keeping clients, and bringing joy to everyone around them, the cost to the company of letting you go is much greater.
And viola, there’s your job security.
Bottom line? Improve your job satisfaction by doing what you love. You’ll be happier, and your job will be safer.