Jennifer Baker

Compared with 30 years ago, people are expected to take greater responsibility for their careers. Even those in large organisations no longer rely on employers to provide them with all their career development.

The last time most of us had any career advice was either at school or university. Discussions were centred on vocational qualifications and which organisations provided the best graduate training. We set out on a career path with a clear starting point, a vague mid phase and, beyond that, usually the complete unknown.

Promotions follow, headhunters call, offers are accepted, and life goes on. We get up each morning and go through the same routine. And how many of us can say we feel fulfilled? Many elements can contribute towards job satisfaction:

  • You feel what you do is worthwhile
  • You are recognised for your achievements
  • Your views are listened to
  • You are working with people you like
  • There’s a good balance between work and the rest of your life
  • Your daily tasks and assignments have variety and are challenging
  • The values of your employers match your values closely
  • The communication channels are good
  • You have good working conditions and adequate remuneration
  • There’s potential for future growth, with training opportunities
  • Your job takes you closer to your goals

To a certain extent, the degree of satisfaction you get from your work is within your control. Think about what it is you want. Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time? Are reputation and status important to you? Do you want responsibility? Authority? Creative control? Do you have new ideas you’d like to try - or any additional duties you could assume? These are all things to consider.

Feeling unfulfilled in your job need not mean handing in your notice and walking off into the sunset. You may have a job you are happy with in many ways, but that does not fully satisfy you. But it may offer scope for growth. Evaluate what you have to offer your employer. We each have our unique combination of talents and abilities. What are yours?