Do you love your job? Today, on Valentine’s Day, love of work should possibly take a back seat to love of people. Or should it?
One of the top contributors to job satisfaction and engagement among employees is having the opportunity to use their skills and abilities at work, according to the 2011 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey of U.S. employees. In fact, six out of 10 employees rated opportunities to use their skills and abilities at work as a key contributor to their job satisfaction, positioning it second only to job security.
Research also indicates that job satisfaction and life satisfaction are correlated. Most readers have experienced this first-hand. Who hasn’t had a stressful day at work and subsequently snapped at a loved-one once home? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I clearly need some coaching techniques from you on compartmentalization.
A great day at work won’t fix an unhappy marriage, but deriving satisfaction and feelings of esteem at work should prevent one from experiencing the physical changes that stress at work induces – like higher cortisol levels – and that after time leave us depleted of energy, less resilient, and exhausted. Coming home from work after a day of stressful interactions certainly leaves us unprepared to handle the major or minor stresses related to home life.
Does the SHRM survey have the answer to breaking this unfortunate cycle? It tells us that using your skills and abilities at work – what some refer to as your “strengths” – is central to work satisfaction, and may reduce stress-related opporunities. Have you experienced this first hand? I have found that when I do work that taps into my skills and abilities, I have more energy while at work and later more patience with family members. Ultimately, my job satisfaction and life satisfaction appear to be closely related, and research again has shown this to be the case. It seems that loving your job is a critical piece to loving your life.
But what if you are unclear about your unique skills and abilities? Looking back at your life and assessing moments of pride and achievement is one way to gauge what makes you special and the unique offerings you bring to the working world. Another alternative is to use the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment. The results of this online assessment can help you to better recognize your unique combination of talents, knowledge, and skills and allow you obtain greater job satisfaction. A monetary investment of $9.99 and 30 minutes of your time makes this an easy first step.
Go to www.gallupstrengthsfindercenter.com to give it a try. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to discuss using your results to create the job, and the life, you love.