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Job satisfaction: what’s important

This month I would like to discuss the important area of job satisfaction.

A 2014 study by the Blessing White consultancy reports on the elements that are important for job satisfaction. Their results, as percentages of the responses, are:

Interesting work: 31%
Meaningful work 18%
Work/life balance 18%
Financial reward 10%

These results repeat what they reported in 2003 and 2006. In 2004, Meaningful work was five percentage points higher than work life balance.

What is interesting to me is that the top driver of job satisfaction, Interesting Work, has been reported as the lead for decades by different researchers. I wonder what this top indicator, interesting work, does for us in our conscious and unconscious processing about our jobs. If you have any thoughts on this, I would like to discuss them with you.

For now, I am repeating a survey that I sent out over two years ago that you may find helpful as a way of measuring your own job satisfaction. I suggest that if you log your results and reassess every year or so, you might find this a helpful tool to point out which items have changed for you, and what you might need to alter as you plan your career moves in a fast-changing work world.

Job Satisfaction Survey

Score each of these items from 1-10, where 10 is the best possible, as they relate to your level of job satisfaction:

  • Interesting work
  • Chance for advancement
  • Fit with strengths
  • Compensation
  • Fit with education
  • Fit with skills
  • Future of the industry sector
  • Strength of the organization
  • Your fit with organization’s vision
  • ‘Gut level feel’ for the job
  • Fit with personality
  • Fit with personal values

The maximum score for job satisfaction here is 120. If you score less than 60 total, you may want to look further into what that means for you.

If you’ve had another job in the past, rank that one using the same items. What was your overall sense of satisfaction with that job? What’s present or missing now?

You can also rank these items in terms of their importance to you, and compare the weighted scores from year to year.

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