How Would You Rate Your Job Satisfaction?
If you’re reading this, I’m guessing that you wouldn’t give your work a 10/10 rating. Am I right?
Actually, that’s pretty normal – even in the best-fit jobs, there’s usually at least one aspect of the role that leaves you not exactly brimming with satisfaction.
You can probably complete this sentence pretty quickly:
The one thing that really leaves me cold at work is…………………….
But after that, is there still something niggling away at you? You could try another adjective to see what that throws up:
The one thing that really frustrates me at work is ……………………..
The one thing that makes me feel furious at work is …………………
The one thing that makes me feel uncomfortable at work is………
And then of course, let’s think positive:
What really lights you up at work?
What work activities use your talents to the full?
What engages you so much at work that time flies and it doesn’t feel like work at all?
It’s all in the questions you ask!
Like many things in life – and especially in coaching – the questions you ask yourself seriously influence the truths you discover. So by modifying your question, new answers unfold.
I wonder what questions you’d ask yourself in order to understand your levels of career fulfillment? I’m guessing you’d go straight for the things that are really bugging you – the things that matter most to you and therefore that hurt most when they’re getting trampled or ignored. Yes, I’m talking values.
I’m not wearing that!
I remember one job I did for four years, which ended when one of my highest values – freedom – was taking a battering. It was actually a great job and one I’d built up for myself, creating a new service from scratch and blissfully free of any micro-management. This allowed me to do things my way – perfect for the sense of autonomy that was (and remains) so important to me. But as the organization grew, more ‘streamlining’ processes were created, more management systems were introduced and the brand and image grew out of all recognition.
This doesn’t sound like the end of the world does it? But I could feel those corporate walls closing in on me and at the same time, the start-up dynamic, the narrative, the brand – all these things no longer felt like me. I guess what brought this general sense of dissatisfaction to a head was the day they introduced a corporate scarf. I’m gagging even now! For me, this provided the very tangible symbol of where our paths divided. It wasn’t just the scarf, but it was everything that scarf represented. Soon afterwards, I handed in my resignation and set up my own freelance business. No scarves in sight – or if they were, I got to choose them!
Now back to you
So how does your level of job satisfaction look and how could you bring this into sharper focus? I’ve developed a cool resource to uncover the key factors you use to measure satisfaction in your work. And these will also shine a light on what you value most.
Take a look at my Rate Your Career Satisfaction Wheel below – are the categories I’ve chosen the ones that are significant to you? No worries if not, you can add, adapt or delete any of the sections that aren’t relevant to you and create new ones that produce something perfectly aligned to how you evaluate your job satisfaction.
Rate each segment out of 10, with 10 meaning ‘brimming with satisfaction’ and 0 being ‘non-existent satisfaction’ for that particular aspect of your work. For example, I might give ‘colleagues’ 8 because we work well together most of the time (even though sometimes we don’t agree on pace of work). Work round each piece of the pie until you get the overall picture.
You should be able to see very clearly which parts of your work are leaving you unfulfilled. This is an important clue to some of the dissatisfactions you’ve been feeling in the background – or maybe slap bang in the foreground – of your working day.
Where you have a low score ask yourself how important this is. Are you prepared to tolerate it, or instead, what could you do to help bring about change? Would a conversation with your manager about flexible working opportunities or taking on new projects that employ your favourite skills take you in a better direction? This kind of conversation could head off a more serious sense of de-motivation, confrontation, or resignation further down the line.
But what you might also see more clearly is what is actually most important or most meaningful to you. Might this also need a deeper look when you’re plotting your next role?
Try rating your work overall as well. You might be prepared to trade off a low-ish salary for great flexible working arrangements. Only you will know when you reach the tipping point and start thinking about what you could do with this added clarity. Does it require action or are you happy enough for now (even while now knowing what your next role MUST have)?
Have fun exploring this and then clear a bit of space to reflect – what next? Which segment got the best result? Which barely registered a score at all? Drop your comments or questions in the box below - I’d love to know what you discovered!
And finally, what would be your point of no return? Would a corporate scarf have been the end of the line for you too?
If you'd like to download this Rate Your Job Satisfaction Worksheet, hit the button below (and please credit Freestyle Careers if you're sharing it).