Four Questions to Find Greater Job Satisfaction


“I do my work and do it well, but I don’t really get much satisfaction from my work. Am I in the wrong job?” – Rick from South Bend, IN


Hi, Rick. In order to answer this question, I encourage you to answer a few questions yourself:

  • What is more important, your happiness and fulfillment at work or compensation? This is probably one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself.  For some people, less pay and more job satisfaction ranks high on their list of priorities and for others, compensation is their only concern.  Decide for yourself what means the most to you, and then base your decisions around what best aligns with that answer.
  • What exactly are you looking for…another job or a brand new career? A job is an activity such as a trade or profession that one does regularly for pay, and a career is a job or occupation regarded as a long-term or lifelong activity.  If you’re happy with your career, a simple job change might give you more of a sense of satisfaction.But if a career is what you are looking for, then you’ll need to do some exploration and planning. You might benefit from meeting with a career development facilitator to help you decide the direction you need to take.  Many Goodwills have staff that are certified career development facilitators, and they would be glad to work with you to determine your best career fit.
  • What would make your current job more satisfying? Determine exactly what it is that you are lacking at work, and see if there are ways to get those things incorporated into your current position.  For example, are you looking for more responsibility or to learn new things? Have a  clear picture of what it is that would make you happier, and don’t be afraid to communicate that to your supervisor.  You would be surprised how many opportunities can present themselves at work when you simply take the initiative to ask.
  • Are you comfortable with change? If you hate being the new kid on the block at work, and the thought of starting over paralyzes you with fear, maybe a job change isn’t the right choice for you.  If you’re comfortable with your compensation, your employer and coworkers, it might be in your best interest to stick it out.If none of this worries you, then you might be ready for major change.  Sometimes, a fresh look at the current job market can help put things into perspective.  Remember: you are worth it; employers today are looking for talent, experience, and creativity; and you owe it to yourself to shop around for the best deal — i.e. job —  for you.

You spend a large portion of your day at work, so the best situation is to be in a place where you get satisfaction and enjoy what you do.

A job is a big investment of your time, skills and experience. If you decide that it is time to move on, it is important that you treat your job search as you would making a large purchase like a house or car. Do your homework, write down your deal breakers (compensation, benefits, environment, work hours, job field, travel time, etc.) and stick  to them.

By understanding your own motivations, doing your research and determining your needs, you’ll be in the best position you can be to increase your job and career satisfaction. Good luck!