Work (DIS)Satisfaction in the US

Did you read or hear about the new statistics on Work (DIS)Satisfaction in the US released this week? Check it out!

I am a colleague of Laura Berman Fortgang and authorized program facilitator for her Now What? program. Today I received Laura’s latest newsletter and asked if I could share this information about growing job dissatisfaction in America.

Anyone who lived through the depression might have a good belly laugh at these statistics because earlier generations did not always have the luxury of being happy in their jobs–they did what they had to do because they had to. Happiness was not part of the equation.

HOWEVER, for the past few decades, job satisfaction has mattered but never more than during the 90′s when the economy was good and people had choices as to where to work and how much to get paid. In the 90′s you had to keep employees happy to keep them!

NOW, and in the last 9 years since 9/11, we have seen a progressive dip in satisfaction.

People are making more and more concessions to stay employed knowing the economy is not good and the job market is tough. More of their wages are going to pay for their health insurance and other benefits. They are seeing flat or no pay raises. Furthermore, something that the news reports did not account for was how many people are working harder and carrying more responsibility as more and more of their co-workers were being laid off.

At the core, however, as someone who works with people looking for the next horizon in their career, I find that there are other core reasons why work is not working.

In the recent movie, “Up In the Air”, George Clooney’s character, an HR rep who fires folks, said it so well when he said to someone who was losing his job: “How much did they first pay you to give up on your dream?”

In America, we are known for people having the freedom to pursue their dreams and think big, but often, people give up on their dream. Granted, sometimes it’s for very practical reasons but our culture doesn’t really support people’s dreams in most workplaces. The bottom line rules, not the growth or satisfaction of the employee. We tell our kids and students to ‘follow their dreams’ and then, when they do, we ask them: “Well, how are you going to make a living at that?”

People also don’t take responsibility for their own growth.Work satisfaction doesn’t come from what you do but WHO you get to be when you are doing your job. IF you don’t like who you get to be at your job, it is your responsibility to find ways to change that EVEN if your actual job dscription does not change.

People start coasting. Their life works well enough and they don’t want to ‘mess with what’s working’. But is it really working? Dissatisfaction can set in so easily when we allow ourself to go unchallenged.

People allow their work drudgery to follow them home. It is possible to improve your life even if you can’t improve your work. Instead of letting our work drudgery follow us home, we can invest in our private life and create a happiness that can make work palatable. Invest in creating family memories, indulge in a hobby, ‘date’ your spouse or partner, take classes, enrich your life!

People can find other opportunities, even in a tough economy. HEY! Then the obvious—gain the courage to look for other work! Invest in your worth as an employee with training or another degree or try your own biz if you can stomach it and bank roll it.

No one promised us we’d be happy at work, but you deserve to be. In other words, it’s exactly what to aim for and yet no one is going to hand it to you. CREATE IT!

Reprinted with permission from Laura Berman Fortgang. Originally published in The Now What?® Newsletter,Volume Three Issue Bonus #1, January 7, 2010

About The PriorityPro
Natalie Gahrmann, an international expert, empowers professional women to ignite their passion, demonstrate personal leadership and exude greater confidence. Her background in business acumen and leadership development is instinctively applied through 1-1 coaching, workshops and keynote presentations. She can help you gain clarity, focus and direction so that you accomplish more of what's important to YOU!

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