Job satisfaction and work satisfaction

Many of us labor under the misconception that job satisfaction and work satisfaction are one and the same. When the job sucks, we start thinking, that we are in the wrong profession and frustration starts building up.

A job is a role, and work is the means to fulfill that role. Job satisfaction can only come if the role is clear, and the person is guided and developed to fulfill that role. Work satisfaction pertains more to the work environment, people, boss, and everyday actions. Put simply – a job is the bigger strategic picture and work is the tactical element of delivering that strategy. These two elements cannot be de-linked – job satisfaction cannot exist without work satisfaction. A clear and fulfilling job role is not enough without the means to deliver a supportive boss, a positive work environment, interesting everyday work, a balanced work-life.

A person don’t see anything wrong but there’s a mundane routine and feels nothing towards work life and is just hanging on because he is confused about doing something else, now that he has spent so much time and effort into the existing vocation. These are signs that there is something not right about his career.

The solution is the person needs to take a stock of his situation, sit back alone with a paper and pen and list the things that he don’t like about his work life. He can write beginning with the things that he is mildly disappointed about and end the list with things that he truly hates in his career. Then he must go through the list again and mark the things that are unsatisfactory in his job (his current place of employment) and those that have to do with his work the skills and the things that he has to do. Adding up the things he has labeled in job and work whichever is higher, is the culprit.

There are four aspects to one’s career: one is profession or work, and then is his industry and organization and then his job profile. What one needs to do is find out which of these is making you unhappy. For instance A is an accountant (that’s the profession) in an advertising firm (the industry) working with XYZ Ltd and she has to do payroll processing, feeding data into computers, employee reimbursements and so on (the job profile). One needs to find out which of these are problem areas. If he is unhappy with his profession then he should try to change it, which may not be a

practical solution for many. But it has to be done if it really gives the person in the job a sense of fulfillment. Then see if it is the industry that is the problem due to high pressure or any other reason. If that is so, change it and look for an industry switch but keeping the same profession.

If it is the company that is a problem, then find out what is it in that makes one unhappy – the colleagues, the money, the vision? If the person cannot see any way of adjusting then he must look out for a change.

However if it is the job profile he is unhappy about he may try to talk to his superior of the HR and see that he can be changed or if he feels he needs a transfer to a different department.

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