I once read an interesting statistic about how work effects overall life happiness. It basically said that a good job won’t make you happy, but a bad job will make you unhappy.
I think this says a lot about how we view jobs. If we hate our work, that frustration and annoyance rules our lives. If we like it, it sometimes goes unnoticed. Think about all the people who quit their jobs thinking that it’s just work that’s bringing them down – only to find that they’re just as unhappy in another job. It’s so easy to blame work for our unhappiness. When we’re feeling down or just having a bad day, we automatically blame it on work because that seems to be the most common source of frustration in the world. Sometimes, job satisfaction is taken for granted. Maybe we’re a lot more satisfied than we think we are…Take the following quiz to find out how happy you are with your job.
Consider the list of statements below. Rate yourself according to the instructions. When you’re done, add up your scores and see how satisfied you are with your job and career. Perhaps this will help you sort out a bad day from a bad job. And maybe, this will help you recognize that you’re more satisfied than you gave yourself credit for. On the other hand, this might make you realize that it’s time for a job change!
*NOTE: This download is only available for members of the Free Career Resource Library.
Respond to each statement by asking yourself if you feel this way:
Most of the Time = Give yourself 3 points
Sometimes = Give yourself 2 points
Never = Give yourself 1 point
1. I like the people I work with.
2. I feel respected by my boss.
3. I feel respected by my co-workers.
4. I feel like a valuable, contributing member of the team.
5. I enjoy the work I do.
6. I find my work challenging but not overwhelming.
7. I feel satisfied at the end of the day.
8. I may not be excited to go to work, but I don’t dread it.
9. I find my office environment pleasant.
10. I feel generally satisfied with my pay – I believe it is fair and adequate.
11. I believe I have growth opportunities that meet my professional desires.
12. I am supported and encouraged to learn new skills.
13. My work is stressful at times but manageable.
Count your points.
If you have 32 to 39 points:
Congratulations! It sounds like your job is a keeper. While things may not be rosy every day of the week, in general you experience all of the wonderful elements of a good job: challenge, respect, satisfaction and opportunity. When you’re feeling down or having a bad day, let it roll off your back – your job is most likely not to blame for long-term unhappiness. Continue to pursue professional and personal challenges that will provide further enjoyment of life.
If you have 26 to 31 points:
You’re not doing too badly, my friend. While there are definitely some areas you could improve, overall you answered “most of the time” or “sometimes” to the majority of these questions. Here’s the good news: You have a great opportunity to improve your work situation by going through this list and looking at the items you answered “sometimes” or “never” to. These are the areas to focus some serious attention on. Perhaps if you improve some of your work relationships, seek new challenges or inquire about growth opportunities you’ll find your job satisfaction increase dramatically. Remember that job happiness is dependent on four main elements: challenge, respect, satisfaction and opportunity. Overall, your job has the potential to be a truly satisfying experience. It might take some work but it’s possible.
If you have 20 to 25 points:
Things aren’t going so well, are they? You answered “sometimes” or “never” quite a bit in this test. That’s not a good sign. Take a look at the areas where you answered “never” and try to understand why the problem has occurred. Is there anything you can do to change it? Perhaps a minor adjustment in one area of the job would have a significant impact on your entire experience. Consider the four main elements of job happiness: challenge, respect, satisfaction and opportunity. Where is yours lacking the most? Take some time to really consider what is going on and why. Take an honest look at yourself as well.
Make an effort to improve the situation as best you can but don’t be afraid to face the facts: This job may not be the right fit. And remember, a job that doesn’t work for you, works against you.
If you have 13 to 19 points:
You may be feeling down and it’s no surprise! You answered “never” and “sometimes” quite a bit in this test. Your job happiness level is low, but then, you probably already know that. Take a good hard look at what your job does offer you. Are you just going through the motions, collecting a paycheck and waiting for the weekend? If so, it’s time to realize that this is not the ONLY way. You can find a job you enjoy. Perhaps, you can even turn this one around. Give it a shot – you have nothing to lose at this point. Evaluate the four elements of job happiness: challenge, respect, satisfaction and opportunity. Ask yourself what you’re missing in each category. Are these things you can control? You might need to enlist the help of your boss or another superior or co-worker. Now is the time to make some improvements!
If you put your best foot forward and nothing changes, take a good look at what you want in life. Remember that a bad job can and will make you unhappy in other areas of your life. Don’t be a victim. Start planning and when the time is right, get out there and make things better. Get a new job, learn some new skills, do whatever it takes. But don’t let yourself wither away in a job where you answer “never” to many of the questions above.