The model is divided so the concepts on the left side identify
what the employer wants and what it offers as rewards and
benefits - the organization-provided satisfiers (org-ps, circles
1 and 5). The right side of the model shows what the employee
contributes to accomplish specific tasks (circle 2) and ultimately
the organization's goals (job-rs). The more self-aware an
individual is about their aptitudes, personal style, and values,
the greater the potential to identify and select jobs that
fit. The more accurate the job description, the better the
odds of attracting the right pool of applicants (circle 3).
When there is a clear fit between the person and the job,
there is a greater chance of successfully accomplishing goals
(circle 4). This in turn leads to an increase in personal
satisfaction (circles 6 and 7). In today's complex work environment,
job descriptions are evolving as we take on special projects
or are assigned to teams. This expanded complexity increases
the need to be proactive in determining fit.
Performance & fit - the core of satisfaction
Job performance and fit are at the center of the diagram because
they comprise the core of a win-win relationship between employer
and employee, (circles 3 & 4). When we are relatively
satisfied with our salary, vacation time and other organization-related
rewards and we find a fit and enjoy our work, feel appreciated
and understand that our contributions are needed (our job-related
satisfiers), we develop a personal, higher level of commitment
to the achievement of goals and thereby the success of the
organization. Collectively, when individuals achieve higher
levels of job satisfaction and performance, an organization
is better positioned to meet its goals with improved productivity
What happens when the job no longer fits?
We might select a position that is an excellent fit at any
point in our working years. We perform well and enjoy the
work, the benefits and rewards are in the right range - but
over time the things begin to change. This can be the result
of new and different goals that no longer use our full range
of aptitudes/abilities, the introduction of technology that
alters the work, the need for new knowledge or skills to accomplish
the tasks, or perhaps the lack of anything new. These types
of changes and others impact our level of satisfaction. The
key is to take a step back, conduct an evaluation of what
has changed and identify what specifically is impacting our
current level of satisfaction.
First, it is important to determine whether any of the actual
work requirements and expectations, (job-rs), or organization-provided
satisfiers have changed. You may discover that the job is
still satisfying, but the organization may be facing increased
competition or costs that have impacted their profitability
and capability to maintain its current salary and/or benefit
strategy. This change may impact our satisfaction with the
way the organization rewards us. In today's changing economy,
a situational analysis should include industry trends to determine
if the changes are specific to your organization or are industry-wide.
Second, since there are many aspects of job satisfaction,
it may be time to re-evaluate what is most important for you.
Our needs change over time. We may have experienced changes
in our personal life or entered a new stage of life.
Finally, if the job itself has become unsatisfactory, determining
what has changed is critical to planning effective next steps
in your career decision making process. Unfortunately, without
an analysis of what is contributing to our personal level
of satisfaction, many of us make uninformed choices that don't
actually improve our circumstances or satisfaction.
Tips to manage your career and job satisfaction
1. Become more self-aware. Learn about your aptitudes/abilities,
preferences, values, and interests and be prepared to articulate
where you can best contribute and what is important to you.
2. Practice using both personal and organizational information
to analyze and evaluate different work requirements to help
you evaluate what offers a good fit. Since most professional
jobs today are a composite of projects, some will be more
inviting to you than others. By understanding what you want
and taking the opportunity to influence your manager, you
are more likely to gain access to projects that are attractive
3. Benchmark the type of work you perform in your organization
with comparable work in similar organizations. This broader
context will let you see trends and help you to evaluate the
organization-provided rewards more objectively.
4. Identify specifically what is contributing to your satisfaction
or dissatisfaction. Make a list. What items relate to the
organization, department, or your job? Is there something
you need to learn or change to improve the situation? Have
the job responsibilities altered over time? Take the time
to get at the root of what isn't working.
5. Learn how to talk with your manager about what types of
projects you enjoy or specifically identify roles that are
appealing. Also, share your thoughts about what you don't
enjoy and why. Remember, at times we all have assignments
find work tasks that are not satisfying.
6. Find a mentor in the organization to give you feedback
and help you find developmental opportunities to contribute
that more closely fit your work profile.
7. Build a professional support network to keep current on
your field and understand the changes that may be coming.
8. Develop a relationship with a career professional.
9. Be proactive, conduct an annual career checkup.
© Copyright 2006, The Ball Foundation/Career Vision.
Article may be reprinted with permission.
Career Vision is a career assessment and consulting organization
that is dedicated to helping people and success and satisfaction
in their work lives.