Finding satisfaction in your job is an important part of a healthy career. No matter how much you are paid, and how successful you are, job satisfaction is a crucial component of the mix. Feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied isn’t uncommon, and knowing how to address it at work is valuable for any professional. Below we highlight a few different ways you can try to bring back that sense of fulfillment and satisfaction to your work.
1. Understand what brings you enjoyment.
The best way to find job satisfaction is to understand what gets you excited at work. Every job has many different tasks and duties that have to be completed each day. It’s important for you to analyze what among those tasks you find the most enjoyable. Figure out what part of your day brings you the most enjoyment, and focus on that. Is it something you could expand on or take a bigger role in doing? Whenever you do find out what that is, see if it is something you prioritize or integrate more into your routine. It may even be worthwhile to discuss it with you manager, but we’ll touch more upon that later.
2. Find out what motivates you.
Another important factor of job satisfaction is motivation and accomplishment. If you rarely feel like you get anything done, or meet any goals at work, it’s going to be a challenge to feel satisfied. Understanding your motivation, and what drives you is important. If you haven’t been feeling that motivation, think about when you are at your best. Is it when you have a clear cut task, or is it when you are given more freedom? Or are you simply motivated by having goals to reach? Whatever drives you, find a way to build that motivation back into your day.
3. Start a new project.
Another great way to find more satisfaction is to start a new project. You may think, “Well I can’t just will a new project into existence!” and that’s true. However, you can usually discover one. Think about all of your responsibilities. Consider even writing them all down, or pulling up the job description for your position. Now think about how your role benefits your manager, and the company overall. Once you understand that relationship, it’s usually easier to recognize the opportunities that could benefit your company. If one of those ideas is enticing to you, consider bringing it up to a manager or integrating it into your daily work.
4. Have a conversation with your manager.
Your mileage will obviously vary with this approach, based on the relationship you have with your manager. If you have a very honest relationship with them, approaching them and saying you are feeling unfulfilled may actually pay off. Just make sure you voice what about your work isn’t working for you. If you tell your manager that you want to set more goals in the next quarter, they will likely be receptive to it. Likewise, if you approach your manager and tell them you want to try something new, or expand your responsibilities, they usually won’t turn you away. Just be prepared for the work you may receive. Also, be careful how you approach the conversation. If done right, you may walk away with a more satisfying work day, and your manager may walk away with a better employee.
5. Make sure you are utilizing your skills and experience.
One of the main reasons many workers feel unfulfilled is because many of their skills and talents aren’t utilized in their role. If you have a great set of skills but go to work day in and day out without using any of them, it’s no surprise that you aren’t feeling job satisfaction. If you want to use those skills and your experience, find a way to integrate them. For example, if you work in sales but have video experience, consider suggesting that you develop a video sales pitch for client meetings. Ideas like this let you utilize your skills (great for your resume), and help your employer at the same time. However, if there are no opportunities for crossover, you may want to consider finding a new job.
If you try all of the above methods, and still find that you aren’t satisfied, you may have to make bigger changes. At that point, you aren’t feeling satisfied, and you probably aren’t happy. Finding a new role that allows you to use your skills, motivates you, and excites you is the smart move. It’s tough to know when to move on from a position, but lack of job satisfaction is a big indicator. We hope the suggestions above help you continue to find satisfaction in your work!