Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Personal Happiness and Job Satisfaction

Now that work/life fusion has been joined by a brand new Blog, Book & Place to Explore, it seemed like the perfect time for a new voice on the subject of work and careers to join us here too.

So, without any further ado, here's an interesting, thoughtful and generously written new article from a most welcome first-time contributor to this blog, Angela Martin...

- - - - - - - - - -

Sometimes when we are not fulfilled in the workplace, it has less to do with our actual work and more to do with our own head or our own heart.

While this is not always the case, sometimes unhappiness at work is an indicator that something else in our life is lacking. Sigmund Freud once said that a person's two greatest needs are to work and to love. It's easy to see how even the most stimulating work can become empty without:

1.) A love for what you do

2.) A love for who you are

3.) A love for the part of your life that exists outside of work

There's nothing standard about this photo of Li├Ęge

[Image courtesy of Bert K on Flickr]

A new research study published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology indicates that those who are unhappy in life are not as likely to find satisfaction at work, according to BusinessWeek. In fact, the report supported the idea that personal happiness has a greater effect on work satisfaction than work satisfaction has on personal happiness.

I will provide an example from my personal life, since experience is always the best teacher. I once wrote for a publication in a career that I had been seeking since high school. You would think that I would find some measure of fulfillment there, as I had persevered for many years to attain this career goal. However, outside factors began to affect my personal happiness. My significant other had lost a job around the same time, requiring him to move three hours away. My career required that I move far away from friends and family. I found that I had stopped reading books, which took away another source of personal happiness. Without these vital sources of love and support in my personal life, my work life slowly began to lose its appeal.

I later left that job and found another in the same field that required me to work more hours, yet placed me closer to my friends, family and significant other. I also took up reading again. Even though the job was more stressful and demanding, I surprisingly enjoyed it more. I believe the reason for my sudden job satisfaction was that my personal happiness had dramatically improved. The work itself had little to do with it.

So before you decide to change careers because you find your current work dissatisfying, you may want to evaluate whether or not something outside of work is disrupting your personal happiness.

- - - - - - - - - -

This guest post was contributed by Angela Martin, who writes on the topics of Job Search Websites. Angela welcomes your comments at her email Id: angela.martin77(at)gmail(dot)com


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. On Angela's behalf I wanted to say thank you for your comment.

    I like your website too and think it is an excellent resource for job-seekers!

    Best Regards for now,