When it comes to attaining job satisfaction, it’d be good to remind yourself of the old adage: “Be careful what you wish for.” The pursuit of status and high pay can be a road block on your journey to job satisfaction. Studies have found that the most satisfying jobs fulfill our psychological needs, not just fill our bank accounts.
SalaryÂ & Job Satisfaction
Some think a good job boils down to a high salary. A look at Google searches over time for the terms “well paying jobs” and “most satisfying jobs” clearly shows what most job seekers are wishing for. But many studies have found that salary has very little to do with happiness at work.
To determine the real relationship between salary and job satisfaction, a business professor at the University of Florida and his colleagues reviewed data from 86 different studies on the topic. The compiled data included results from more than 15,000 employees. Their conclusion: “Level of pay had little relation to either job or pay satisfaction.”
The graph above also supports a finding from a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study found that the magic number for income and happiness is a household income of $75,000 a year. Beyond that annual income, money “does nothing for happiness, enjoyment, sadness or stress,” the study concluded.
So, if you want to be happy at work, wishing for a big payday might lead you astray. It might be time to rethink your salary requirements.
Find Fulfillment at Work
Although not as easily quantifiable as cash, personal fulfillment and human connections are what drive job satisfaction. Numerous studies have found that doing work with purpose, such as jobs that help people or animals, is the easiest way to find job satisfaction.
According to a new report from the Conference Board, other factors that contribute to happiness on the job are:
- A sense of job security
- Finding your work interesting
- Being happy with your co-workers
Want to find a job you love? Search jobs in the top 5 most satisfying careers:
- Community/Social Services (84% high job meaning)
- Healthcare Practitioners (82% high job meaning)
- Healthcare Support (78% high job meaning)
- Education/Teaching (73% high job meaning)
- Protective Service (72% high job meaning)