Before the Job Hop: First, Face Yourself (If You Dare)

Of late, the news is focused on low employee job satisfaction. The lagging economy and resulting layoffs have fueled that focus.

While job satisfaction appears to be at an all time low, the number is at a stand still. In 2008, best selling author Patrick Lencioni who wrote The Three Signs of a Miserable Job referenced a Gallup poll revealing that 75% of employees hated their jobs and 35% had checked out. Some of the most common reasons employees leave their jobs are:

  • Personality conflicts with their supervisor/co-workers
  • Salary and/or benefits package
  • No advancement opportunities
  • Lack of two-way communication between management and employees

Of course, due to pressures from the recession, many of these situations are likely to be more extreme than before. But, though 80% of people would consider job hopping, it’s highly unlikely that 80% of employees in the U.S. will actually change jobs this year.

So, if you’re feeling some dissatisfaction at work, it’s important to ask yourself what you’re going to do about it. Are you going to check out and stay on the clock, tanking your professionalism and reputation where you are? Are you going to look around for other opportunities (that may or may not be better than your current position)? Or, are you going to do something to create happiness in your current position?

While extreme life circumstances such as health issues or diagnoses of clinical depression affect happiness levels, your job situation may not be as extreme as it feels. If you’re unhappy in your job, perhaps a change in perspective could help change your outlook on your current job situation. 

Author and speaker John Maxwell suggests that job satisfaction is largely based on your ability to lead yourself. In his book The 360 Degree Leader he devotes nine chapters to Lead-Up Principles. Within these chapters, he helps the reader discover ways to gain the respect of their boss and peers. When you feel respected, your job satisfaction will increase. If you want to be respected and valued for your contribution, often that is gained through the actions you take to achieve that level of respect.

A few of Maxwell’s principles include:

  • Be willing to do what others won’t.
  • Be prepared every time you take your leader’s time.
  • Know when to push and when to back off.
  • Become a go-to player.
  • Be better tomorrow than you were today.

Whatever you choose to do with your career in this recession, make sure you take time to consider the bigger picture first. And, if you do choose to leave, make sure you’re not just running away from something but you’re running towards a better opportunity.

by Jennifer Anderson, Guest Blogger
Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Express Employment Professionals

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