Careers Advice Blog

How important is job satisfaction?

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When did the definition of ‘job satisfaction’ cease to simply mean getting satisfaction out of the job you are doing?

Seriously, when was it decided that a good pension scheme was suddenly the measure of a good job?


Over the past couple of years I have noticed that life appears to be accelerating toward that inevitable conclusion, the ejection from the safe bosom of university and the plunge into the real world of frightening things such as jobs, tax and the sad end to student discounts.

With this acceleration has come the realisation that most people in a similar situation have extremely different priorities to myself when attempting to clamber onto the career ladder.

Case in point; a friend of mine has recently taken a year in an extremely well renowned business with fantastic pay and amazing opportunities for progression. The friend in question freely admits that he will probably detest whatever it is he will be doing and has even joked about the reputation of this company for turning its employees into drug addicts in a desperate bid to escape from the realities of the job.

Dreams vs. reality

In contrast to this I have still not fully given up on my once dream of moving to Greece and working in a small café in tiny fishing village for a pittance, just so I can live a fairly carefree existence in the sun.

It is extremely possible that my idealism is the direct result of a belligerent determination neither to grow up nor make practical decisions based on logic and longevity, but surely there has to be some kind of happy medium between these two attitudes?

I am by no means claiming that every young girl should pursue their childhood dream of becoming a mermaid; unless you are willing to undergo some horrible surgery or commit to a life in fancy dress I am afraid it is just not going to happen.

Money makes the world go round

Also, there is the question of money. Ignore Des’ree, the simple and unfortunate truth is that money does make the world go round.

With the acquiescence to the truth of the above point comes the acknowledgement that for many people a job is simply a means to an end, that end being the money to do what you will, be that travelling or buying Star Wars collectables.

It is important to remember, however, that even if your job is only a functional aspect of your existence, you will be investing an enormous portion of your time and energies into it.

In summary, what person wants week daily misery from nine until five? That is no way to make a living.

How important do you find job satisfaction? What is a good definition of it? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: Evan Bench / Flickr

I’m a second year English Lit student at Warwick University with a love for expressing my opinions through any channel available (willing to try expressing it through interpretive dance if the chance presents itself). Interested in various mediums of journalism and have had a bit of experience in this field (always looking for more). I am campaigns officer for Warwick Oxfam and play Dodgeball internationally.
Harriet BignellHow important is job satisfaction?

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