According to the Cambridge dictionary, job satisfaction is ‘the feeling of pleasure and achievement which you experience in your job when you know that your work is worth doing: Companies with high levels of job satisfaction tend to have higher profitability and productivity.’

To quote Aristotle, ‘Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work’. So shouldn’t everyone have it?

Recruit Ireland spoke with Management Trainer William Schofield about what job satisfaction is and how you can achieve it.

What is job satisfaction?

The core of job satisfaction is to be fulfilled in your employment. You must enjoy your job for it to be a source of happiness in your life. Exciting work is enjoyable, and being at work brings a circle of co-workers and social connections. Workplace goals bring opportunities to achieve and rise to exciting challenges. Job satisfaction is about liking your job and it making you happy.

What are your top tips for achieving job satisfaction?

It is critical to be satisfied with our jobs and we should not accept anything less. We spend too much of our lives working for it to be nothing other than a source of fulfillment. The ideal job for people is the intersection of three elements;

  1. Something that you can make money doing
  2. Something at which you are good
  3. Something you enjoy

Finding a job that meets these three elements will ensure satisfaction at work.

Satisfaction in the work environment is closely linked to the same factors which give satisfaction in other relationships such as family ties. My three top tips for achieving work satisfaction are;

  • Seek connectivity with your colleagues. Endeavor to have meaningful relationships with your boss, colleagues, and people in the wider organisation. Network, network, network.
  • Strive for autonomy and personal independence. Find the capacity to make your own decisions and act upon them.
  • Look for opportunities to do what you are best at. At your performance appraisal, set goals that involve opportunities that you enjoy and are good at. Through time you can craft your job to match your interests and skills.

Does work satisfaction depend on just work?

Life factors are important, but adopting a philosophy to life that is receptive and mindful will decrease stress and increase work satisfaction. A belief that you can control events in your life and be enthusiastic about following your goals has a significant impact on increasing work satisfaction.

Are there other factors that come into play? For example, what you do with your time off?

It is essential to have goals both at work and in your personal life, the things you are striving to achieve. You should also have a set of goals for things that give you enjoyment both in and out of work; these are activities you want to spend more time doing, as they are a source of enjoyment. It is crucial to balance your life goals, what you want to achieve in and out of work, and what you want to spend more time doing in and out of work. A lack of balance in life goals can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction.

I split my time into the periods of the key areas in my life. My time is spent either working, fostering relationships, or time for myself. If I am not working, I am spending time nurturing my relationships with my family, mainly my wife and three young children. I read, write,
meditate, follow soccer, and do some light exercise in my self-time. I make sure that my time is distributed across the three domains of work, relationships, and self.

Does someone have to hate their job to feel unsatisfied or can it happen to anyone at any time?

No. Dissatisfaction often comes from either having no goals or an unbalanced set of goals in life. With no goals, we have no compass in life. If the goals are unbalanced, we end up placing too much focus on one aspect of our life. We need goals on what we want to achieve in life at
home and work, and we need to have goals on spending more time doing things that make us happy at home and work.