I’ve seen a bit being written about job satisfaction lately, so I figured I’d toss my two cents in.
“Pay me to do something I like, and I’ll never work another day in my life” is something I’ve always thought, meaning that if I’m doing stuff that interests me, it’s not really work.
Job satisfaction starts with being in a position that challenges and interests you. Nothing else matters until you have that.
My first job out of University was a software developer at a small company of about 20. I was paid fairly well for a freshly minted graduate, had excellent benefits, and the company took care of its employees. To celebrate the winning of a large contract, the company took the whole staff & spouses to Banff for a week. Airfare, hotel, and a fair whack of spending money. A dream job by all other accounts.
But I didn’t have job satisfaction. I didn’t like being a programmer (even if it was a Unix programmer)
So I moved to a hospital. Due to some people quitting, I found myself moved into networking, and given tremendous responsibility. I spent three years learning about networking and being constantly challenged with interesting work. I loved my job there. Eventually, I got into a rut, largely because the work stopped becoming challenging and the unions (spit, spit) were starting to get to me. Even though there were many things about the job that pissed me off, for most of the time I didn’t feel like I was at work.
I moved on to a large payroll company, where I am now. My immediate co-workers are brilliant, and the company takes fairly good care of us. Yes, we had some severe layoffs a few weeks ago, but I emerged even happier the next day. I’m paid well for the market I’m in (demand for high end network folk isn’t excessive in Winnipeg), and I feel secure in my job. Most importantly, I’m constantly challenged.
Sure, there are a lot of things I don’t like about it, but I walk in every Monday looking forward to the week ahead. And, as such, I’ll continue to like my job.
A measure of job satisfaction is to simply ask yourself, “would recommend a position in your company to a friend?” I would (and do). People like Jeremey Zawodny publicly display their love of their job by calling for co-workers(or he’s just desparate for the cash).
I don’t mean to say I have all the answers for job satisfaction, but I know it starts with simply liking what you do.