Increasing Job Satisfaction

For most of us, employment is a necessary part of life. We need a good income to keep ourselves sheltered, clothed, and fed. For many though, that means working at a job they aren’t happy at, and that can do a real number on your health and self-esteem. Should we just accept that we have to spend 40 or more hours a week being miserable at work? Of course not. Job satisfaction is very important, and if yours is lacking, there are things you can do.

Start simple. For example, if your desk or cubicle is located in a noisy area or near a co-worker that rubs you the wrong way, ask if you can relocate. Be polite and professional with your request, and instead of saying you want to get away from that annoying co-worker, say you feel that relocating would improve your productivity and help you concentrate better.

If office politics are wearing you down, see if you can create an arrangement where you work from home a few days a week. More and more companies are open to this, so don’ be afraid to ask. Present them with a proposal to do it on a trial basis for a month or so and then revisit the possibility of a permanent arrangement.

Boredom is a common problem in the workplace. If you don’t feel your work is challenging enough, ask to learn or take on new responsibilities or volunteer for special projects. If you feel you deserve a promotion, request a meeting with your boss, and present your case. Go over all your accomplishments, your experience and why you think you deserve it. If they tell you your lack of education is what’s holding you back, start taking classes to rectify it! Start at If your company offers tuition reimbursement or assistance, take advantage of it!

If your job has become something you truly dread though, and the workplace atmosphere is toxic, you should strongly consider leaving. Quitting or resigning a job is not something most people find pleasant, but no job is worth sacrificing your mental or physical health for. If your boss is abusive or co-workers are bullying and going to HR has not been effective, get out. Just like in any abusive relationship, the best thing you can do to leave. Start looking for another job before you do so if you like, but if there is real abuse going on, burning bridges is not something to worry about!