What does it mean when somebody tells you they have a bad job? There are lots of reasons they might feel less than happy with their role. It might leave them physically exhausted or offer low pay. But there are less obvious reasons why people might be dissatisfied.
Say you land a job in the sector in which you’ve always dreamed of working or secure a move to a position with an attractive salary. Neither of these things can guarantee job satisfaction.
Have you ever found yourself heading to work each morning, dreading arriving at the office? Have you ever counted the hours all day long, waiting for it to be over? Then you’ve had a miserable job that may have left you feeling deeply cynical, without motivation to apply yourself or perform well.
It has nothing to do with the job title or the sector; a doctor can be just as miserable as a construction worker. A professional sportsperson might be as disillusioned as an amusement park designer. A wealthy executive might be deeply unhappy in her job, whereas the waiter who serves her lunch may find his job deeply rewarding. You get the picture.
Being so unhappy in your job obviously has a personal cost – your general well-being. What isn’t as obvious is the high cost to companies.
Let’s look at efficiency. There’s plenty of research to show the negative impact dissatisfied employees can have on a company’s efficiency. When a worker is less engaged and less happy with their work, they’re less likely to perform well, and both employee and company will suffer.
Not only that – an unhappy employee’s misery and cynicism will filter into their home life, affecting their partner and children. The same people are also more likely to find it hard to perform their other social responsibilities, such as caring for loved ones and taking part in the wider community.
If we’re going to solve job misery, we’ll first have to understand what causes it. Luckily, the next blink has the answer.