Is job satisfaction a choice?
No job is perfect. It’s inevitable that you will feel discouraged at some point in your job, but there are many factors to weigh up, says business analyst and life coach Khanyi Sithole. “Job satisfaction relates to the structures within the company, your perceived value, your role and responsibilities, your colleagues and, very importantly, your attitude. If either of these factors are out of sorts, it will leave you feeling unhappy in the workplace.”
She adds that the right attitude can make the world of difference. “If you wake up each morning dreading going to work and resenting your job, it will affect your performance and, ultimately, the way you are viewed by management and your co-workers. A positive attitude is often valued and rewarded in most companies.”
Sithole offers the following tips for increasing job satisfaction:
Choose to be happy by making your day as enjoyable as possible. You spend so much time at the office, so it’s advisable to surround yourself with things that will make it more pleasant. Always try to be well-rested, take a multivitamin, invest in some earphones and listen to music or take coffee breaks with colleagues. As long as you are fulfilling your responsibilities, there is a way to have fun at work.
Make a to-do list. When you feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to complete, it often leaves you feeling stressed and despondent. Tackle each day by drawing up a list of things you need to do and tackle each one in bite-sized, doable chunks as opposed to undertaking huge, overwhelming tasks at a time. If you really are overwhelmed and overloaded, speak to your management about possible help and resources.
Avoid negative coworkers. Interacting with people who complain constantly may leave you inclined to feed into the negativity. Try to avoid office gossip and politics as much as possible and opt rather to spend time with people you like.
Be assertive. If you feel that you aren’t valued or challenged in workplace, speak up. Management can sometimes overlook certain things, so it is advisable to speak to your line manager about your goals within the company. Don’t expect or demand things, however – work towards them.
If you are in a situation where a positive attitude and good work ethic is unlikely to change your levels of job satisfaction, it may be advisable to look for a position or company where you would feel more valued.
“It’s important that even before you sign your contract, you research to ensure that the company ethos and values are aligned to yours and ensure that you go for a job that interests you,” says Sithole.