The statistics on employee dissatisfaction are startling. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that about 50 percent of all employees leave their job within the first six months of being hired. Findings in a survey by Right Management (here’s the link) show 86 percent of employees polled said they plan to actively look for a new position in 2013. 86% – think about that statistic! Wouldn’t you like an 86% chance of winning the lottery or of a sunny day when you are planning an outside event, or an 86% probability of receiving a bonus this year? That’s a very high number, showing that the vast majority of the working population might be getting up every single morning of the week thinking, “Is it Friday yet??”
What’s going on? If we spend the majority of our waking lives at work, don’t we want to enjoy it just a little? It just can’t be that 86% of workers are generally disgruntled. There have to be some naturally happy folks in this research group who are also miserable.
Many times the dissatisfaction felt in a job comes from the feeling that you are walking around in shoes all day that just don’t fit. You CAN walk in them, but they pinch your toes, they scrape your heel and create bunions and other problems. This is what a job that is ill-fit feels like. A person knows they aren’t at their best, they don’t feel comfortable in the role, and they aren’t able to contribute at the level they are capable of. They plod through doing what’s required, or sometimes even over-achieving, but the sense of satisfaction, or contentment, is elusive.
Most people when looking for job think about the type of job they want: “I want to be an accountant” or “I want to work in a retail store selling high-end shoes” or “I enjoy being outdoors so I want to be a guide for a mountain club.” They identify the type of activities that might be associated with a job, or the kind of environment they think that job will be found in, and then that becomes the focus.
It is necessary to have some sense of what you like to do, and what type of jobs offer the components of what you like to do, but there are other things people often miss when considering what job and employer is right for them. Here are three things to think about when job hunting, and a couple of additional tips to improve your current situation if you feel it isn’t a fit.
If you are thinking about changing jobs, or in the job search mode, focus on the following:
Putting these ideas into practice could help you either get clearer about your next opportunity, change the current situation, or generally make it easier to understand why you are unhappy, and how you can find some contentment.