People often rate job satisfaction more highly than job security or the amount they earn. Job satisfaction helps to stress proof a person and protect them against stress resulting from excessive demands at work. If you enjoy your job, feel in control of your everyday work and find many aspects of the job satisfying, this will minimise effects that parts of the job you find more stressful have on you. Most people rate achievement, recognition, responsibility and advancement, more highly than their salary, status, job security and work conditions.
Job satisfaction is very much to do with your attitude to work and your expectations. There may be many aspects of your work that you would eliminate or change if you had a free choice. Working with others means making compromises so that you can work as a team. The capacity to accommodate your personal preferences will depend on the size of the team and the power structure in your organisation. When you cannot have things exactly the way you want them at work you can either be overly frustrated and chaff over the limitations, or you can develop the sort of attitude that makes the best of things with a generally positive outlook on life.
For a well ordered meticulous person, there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to work amidst chaos- with notes misfiled, lost correspondence, meetings starting late etc. Conversely a disorganised person who lets jobs pile up, forgets to pass on messages or turns up late for work, will wreck working arrangements and annoy the rest of the staff.
It’s been shown that what ‘Generation X’ (the 18 to 29 year age group) want is stimulating work, variety, to be constantly learning, and receive continuous feedback on how they’re doing.
Working in a disturbing or unpleasant physical environment is likely to cause you stress.Conversely working in a restful, pleasing environment reduces stress.
Q1.My New Year resolution will be to enjoy my job as a dentist’s receptionist, instead of seeing it as a nuisance that interrupts my family life. What’s your top tips?
A.Keep things in perspective and don’t get overwhelmed by the demands of your customers. So if you can’t book them into the exact slot they want, don’t feel guilty about circumstances that are outside your control. Take pride in your achievements. Smile and actively think positive thoughts.
Q2. My doctor’s started me on treatment for depression and advised me to reconsider my job as a teacher, which I find so stressful. Am I depressed because of my job, even though I enjoy watching the children laughing and playing together?
A.Low ratings of job satisfaction are associated with mental and physical ill health. So why not meet with the head of your school, be honest about your low mood and see if there’s a way of reducing the stress by changing your work conditions, and so, building your job satisfaction. Then when your depression’s cleared you’ll hopefully be more resilient when faced with stressful situations in future.