Does it seem to you like everyone hates their job these days? It’s not your imagination. Workers in industries as diverse as education and government are reporting lower job satisfaction than they have in years. So what gives?
Part of the problem, suggests John Jeffrey Mardlin, Business Development at PMRobot.com in a recent Forbes blog post, is that “people hate their jobs because, now more than ever, there is the possibility to love their jobs … and they don’t.”
Historically, Mardlin points out, this wasn’t always the case. Work wasn’t always seen as something that would give you a sense of personal satisfaction — it was a way to earn a living, and that was all we expected of it.
In the same post, research Bob Hooker offers other reasons for people’s dissatisfaction with their jobs:
1. Some jobs are legitimately terrible.
I’d also add that, in the present economy, they’re likely to be underpaid, and we’re often stuck in them longer than we used to be.
2. Even if you like your job, being paid for doing it (especially if you are one of those few lucky souls who is paid well) will make you less likely to think you like it.
“In experimental studies, over and over again, it has been found that people will evaluate the pleasure they receive from an activity lower the more money they are paid,” writes Hooker. “The very act of paying someone to do a job makes the job seem unpleasant, or at the very least, removes the motivation to like the job.”
3. If it were fun, they wouldn’t have to pay you to do it.
This is why we don’t give kids an allowance for finishing their ice cream or pretending to be a dinosaur. Fun stuff, we do for free. Boring stuff, they pay for.
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