Are You Satisfied with Your Job?

“To be successful, you must manage your career by thinking about your own needs and also the needs of the organization, and contribute in ways that satisfy both.”–Vijay Sathe

Before his first day, Michael (not his real name) was really excited about his new marketing job. In addition to getting a steady income, he looked forward to being part of a team and using some of his hard-earned skills. But two weeks into the job, Michael felt trapped. The income wasn’t as reliable as he’d been told, the organization was in constant flux, and so far, it was looking like the company planned to take a lot more from Michael than it planned to give back. Should he stick it out and hope things would get better, or cut his losses before they grew?

Half of our mission statement is to help people find meaningful work. Do you see work as something you just have to endure in order to put food on the table and gas in your car? Or are you satisfied with your job? Satisfied people get from their job things that matter to them, such as job security, job satisfaction, personal and professional growth, and happiness at work.

We believe that meaningful work and job satisfaction are inextricably linked, which is why we work hard to help every candidate we submit to find a good fit, not just another job. When you continuously feel purposeful and valued at work, you’ll be fully present (engaged) and do your best work, a cycle that results in job satisfaction for you and satisfaction for your employer, too. If you’re not getting what you want out of your work, perhaps it’s time to consider why not, and what you can do to change that.

To find true job satisfaction, you must be simultaneously contributing to the success of your organization and creating a positive impact for yourself, says Vijay Sathe in his book Manage Your Career. If you don’t balance the needs of the organization with your own needs and contribute in ways that satisfy both, your job will not be sustainable. With this balance in mind, Sathe describes 5 patterns for the kind of employee you might be. See if you identify with one of these types:

  1. Sadist—You are creating a positive impact for yourself but hurting the organization.
  2. Kamikaze—You are hurting yourself by the way you perform your job and contribute to the organization. (In the true story above, Michael probably fits best here, giving more than he gets.)
  3. Stagnant—You are having zero impact on both the organization and yourself.
  4. Disaster Zone—Your actions are hurting both yourself and the organization.
  5. Successful—You are performing your job well and making other contributions to the organization while also creating a positive impact for yourself.

If you relate to the sadist, kamikaze, stagnant, or disaster zone worker, there’s no better time than now to start evaluating what is causing the imbalance. Identifying the root cause is key to changing your pattern of behavior. This introspective work can usually be done with some research, reading, persistence, and openness to the counsel of trusted others. Sathe’s book also offers 10 keys to survival and success when interviewing and on the job which you will find pertinent to managing your career path.

Sometimes, however, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to alter the dynamics of a relationship between you and your employer once it has been set into place. Even if you learn to draw better boundaries, you can only change your own behavior, not the unhealthy patterns of the other party. If you try to change and find that your work environment won’t permit you to achieve balance, you may find it necessary to look for a different place where you can be successful.

Are you satisfied with your job? We hope so…but after reading the 5 types of workers, if you aren’t balancing your needs with those of your organization, then it may be time for an internal and/or external change in your life!

Amtec’s mission is to help people find meaningful work and help our client companies build high-performing teams. We actively serve customers all over the United States who seek top professionals with well-rounded skills. If we don’t have the most current version of your resume, please click here to post it, and visit our job board while you’re at it! You or a friend might be a good fit for one of our open positions.

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