Job Satisfaction: Defining Your Needs

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Job Satisfaction: Defining Your Needs
As published  in The Flightpath News - Week of February 03, 2003

  Job Satisfaction: Defining Your Needs


How do you define job satisfaction for yourself?

Perhaps you don't feel as connected to your work as you used to.
Do you find yourself thinking about the direction that your career is taking? This is a good time to re-define for yourself what you need to feel involved and committed again to your work and your goals.

One of the strongest motivations is the conviction that what we do makes a positive difference in our own lives, or the lives of others. One of the key measures of job satisfaction is the belief that the work we do is both meaningful to and valued by our employer.

You are more likely to feel disconnected from your job and the people with whom you work if you feel that your contribution is going unrecognized or has little value.

Our self-esteem is the way in which we see ourselves: our abilities, competence, interests, values, goals, and the inner acceptance of our failures and successes. Burnout occurs when we realize that our devotion to a project, a career path, or our employer hasn't had the results we expected, and we lose our energy and the drive to succeed.

To recognize that you have unfulfilled needs is a positive step forward in your growth and progress. Now you can begin asking yourself what you require to advance in the direction best suited to your talents and abilities.

What is important to you? Is it recognition, identification with a shared goal or cause, respect and loyalty from your superiors, the opportunity to stretch yourself with new challenges, or work which allows you more time with your family?

Your attitudes towards your present obstacles will affect the decisions that you make. How much control and responsibility do you want to accept for these decisions?

If you have an internal locus of control then you will accept responsibility for choosing a new direction in your career.

What does your intuition tell you about what you need to be happy? Do you have the opportunity to express who you are and what you value in your work? What changes do you need to make in your life to release your creativity and make your greatest contribution?

Look at your present situation. Do you have the resources you need to work effectively? What is missing? What do you need to re-kindle interest and involvement in your work?

Is staying in your current job likely to bring about the conditions you want? These and similar questions and the responses they generate will help you to identify your expectations and your needs.

Sometimes you need to initiate change to maintain a forward momentum. What used to hold your attention and interest changes over time, and this is a natural process of personal development.

Opportunities exist for you to make the changes you want. This may require you taking an unfamiliar road, or leaving behind familiar ways and people. Only you can determine what degree of risk and change you want to accept to make the progress you desire.

If you approach this exercise in a straightforward way, certain issues come to mind that are more important to you than others. Discuss your feelings and ideas with those people whose lives may be affected by the decisions you make.

Your clear intentions will help dissolve whatever feelings of frustration you feel with your present situation, and your view to the future will reveal new and interesting options to consider and explore.


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