Job Satisfaction: What It Means And How to Get It

millennial job satisfaction


Aug. 28 2014, Published 1:00 a.m. ET

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The millennial generation often gets a bad rap. We tend to be described in some rather unflattering terms:  lazy, self-absorbed and easily bored, to name a few. We also tend to be perceived as job-hoppers, and there may lie a bit of truth in that – 91% of millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years, according to a survey completed by the Future Workplace. So, why is it so hard to be satisfied with what we do? Is job satisfaction a thing of the past?

Let’s back up a bit and look at what job satisfaction means. In past generations, it was satisfying to have a steady and secure income to fund things like a mortgage, bills and retirement. As long as people were in a field that was stable and that wasn’t too soul-crushing, all was well.

Millennials, on the other hand, want a little more out of life. We want a job that holds our attention, that has meaning, that makes a difference. We need constant challenge and change. That’s where our reputation as job-hoppers comes from. We get bored, we crave something new and we seek it elsewhere. In fact, millennials tend to change jobs every 2.3 years, which is understandably a concern for most employers. We don’t want to lower our expectations and be stuck in an unsatisfying job in order to pay the bills.

Here are some ways to make that happen:

1. Be Flexible

This goes for you as well as your employer. It may help you to have flexible working hours, so you don’t feel so tied down and can better attend to family obligations. Can you work a four-day workweek? How about half-day Fridays? Is working from home an option, even just a couple days a week? This can help improve your work-life balance and make you feel more in control of your job. Hopefully your employer is open to the idea of flexible schedules. Schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss the possibilities, being sure to stress that it will be good for the company’s bottom line. Happy employees are more productive, after all.

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2. Get Educated

Does your employer offer ongoing training options? Have you taken advantage of any educational benefits your company may offer? In the quest to learn more and make a difference, you may want to consider programs such as these. Your employer wants to keep you and wants you to be happy, so if it means signing up for a computer course or a business symposium, by all means go for it. If the idea of going back to school seems intimidating, consider online courses you can take on your own time and complete in the comfort of your own home. There is a reason that more students are taking online courses than ever before.

3. Be Open

If things aren’t working out for you, consider talking to your boss before firing out those resumes. More often than not, if a company wants to keep you, they will do whatever is necessary to do so. Do you want more responsibilities? Something a bit more creative? Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want – just remember to remain flexible and offer some give-and-take. You can’t ask for a whole new position to be created just for you, but you can ask for a title change or new responsibilities. Hopefully your boss will be willing to meet you at least half way.

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Hopefully these ideas will help you find the job satisfaction you are looking for. If you’re in a field you love, then expand on it, aim for flexibility and remain open and honest. By doing these things, you will better value what you do and be happy in your chosen profession.

What does your job mean to you?  Are you satisfied and fulfilled by your work?  I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!

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