As every year ends, we ask our new graduates and those young adults: How much do you like your work? Many of them are carefully thinking of their ideal career, training to take on jobs in business or government. Interestingly they assume that in order to be satisfied, you must hold your dream job—one where your skills meet your passion and make a good profit, but can all of them have this? Here is the question!
Indeed and from a psychological point of view, this belief is based on a misunderstanding of what brings job satisfaction. We do know that to be happy at work, you don't have to hold a job that culminates in your educational achievement nor do you have to make a lot of money. I think nowadays is not about what is the work, but may be – if you can agree with me – is about who: such work satisfaction is now about people who you work with and value.
However, job satisfaction mostly depends on a sense of accomplishment, recognition of your job and work-life balance. And here if I could say about our nurses who believed that their work is a divine profession and a tool through which they could obtain spiritual pleasure and satisfaction.
On other hand, by choosing a job or career path, I cannot say only to our youngest adults find the best possible match between their interests and the specific job duties. Surely, they shouldn't subscribe to something they hate. Instead, I believe that a better approach is to remain flexible in the specific job while searching for values that match their own. So, whatever job they end up in, finding a sense of reaching their goals within it is critical to job satisfaction.
Moreover, this takes us to recognize that for real satisfaction, you should pursue goals—two in particular. The first is success and earning it. And this honestly, takes me to Employers for instance who should provide clear feedback, reward merit, and encourage their employees to develop new skills that will help in giving such feelings.
Of course, the second goal worth pursuing in any work is serving others - the sense that your job makes the world a better place. This doesn't mean you need to volunteer or work for a charity to be happy!
In the end, given that job satisfaction depends on criteria such as people and values rather than tangible characteristics such as job duties and money. It is worth noting that a good job can become a bad job without any changes that might be apparent. However, I could say that the key point here is: when we know the secrets of a truly satisfying career, really the work can be fun.
Dr Yousuf Ali Al Mulla is a physician, medical innovator and a writer.