Do You Have Low Job Satisfaction? What to Do about It

Low job satisfaction does not have to hinder your success. To stay energized and progressing in your field, periodically evaluate your job situation to determine your level of satisfaction. Use that information to make constructive changes that will push you toward success.

Determining Your Level of Job Satisfaction

To determine how satisfied you are, consider the following questions:

  1. Does my work energize me each day despite the pressures and challenges?
  2. Do I lose myself in work so 5 p.m. sneaks up on me?
  3. Do my boss and coworkers quickly look to me for ideas and direction?
  4. Am I content with my wages?
  5. Am I eager for advancement with my company?

If your answers are all yes, your satisfaction is high. If you answer no to at least three of these questions, it's time to take action.

Factors that Contribute to Low Job Satisfaction

  • Working conditions - Simple things like a clean, well-lit, organized work space are important components of job satisfaction. An unhealthy environment drains energy and enthusiasm.
  • Job location - The perfect job can quickly become unsatisfying if your commute to work becomes a burden. Does your commute take too long? Is the commute difficult, cumbersome or costly? All these elements contribute to the kind of personal stress that contributes to job dissatisfaction.
  • Poor coworker or manager relationships - Unsupportive, difficult coworkers or managers can drain the passion from your job. Even if your happy with the work itself, office politics and dissension can undermined your work attitude.
  • Wages - Are you being paid what you're worth? Low wages, benefits or compensation can diminish your desire to strive for excellence in your work.
  • Inadequate skill levels - Without the necessary on-going professional training, a job that once seemed ideal and challenging can become overwhelming. If your coworkers or teammates seem more skilled or qualified that you, your discontent will increase and overshadow the success you could enjoy with proper training.
  • Lack of daily challenges - Some people think that a leisurely, undemanding job would be a welcomed blessing. But the reality is that it can soon become, dull and uninspiring--draining job satisfaction.

Factors that Contribute to High Job Satisfaction

  • Opportunities for advancement - If you see yourself progressing with you company in tangible ways, your satisfaction will increase.
  • Good manager or coworker relationships - Teamwork and mutual respect go a long way to energizing your work efforts.
  • High wages or benefits - When you receive fair compensation, you'll strive harder to deserve that wage.
  • Diversity of tasks - Variety will keep you on your toes, testing your skills and working harder.

Using Your Satisfaction Level to Improve Your Career

Professional success is a combination of elements working together and job satisfaction is a key component. Make a conscious effort to periodically evaluate your satisfaction level with every job. If it is low, get career counseling from a trusted advisor to determine if you need to look for new opportunities, make changes in your current position or retune your own work goals and efforts. Consider the factors that contribute to high and low job satisfaction and see if changes can increase satisfaction or if a career move might be worth considering.