How to Search for Job Satisfaction Instead of a Job

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While it’s easy to hyper-focus on a position that fits your major, the qualifications needed, and the paycheck, there are still several other factors to consider when searching for a job. Overall job satisfaction is a critical factor to consider.

In 2019, a Statista report shared that commute and colleagues had the greatest impact on an employee’s job satisfaction. 

Since then, the work landscape has changed drastically due to COVID-19. Though company culture still plays a key role in long-term satisfaction, it’s measured differently now. For example, the office with the best breakfast bar to socialize with colleagues is no longer a way to figure out which job will offer the most satisfaction. (And to be honest, it never really was!)

So, how do we prioritize the importance of job satisfaction in our search?

Work environment

This may seem a little trivial, but job satisfaction can be hugely impacted by your work environment. The environment in which you work directly affects your productivity, mood, focus, and happiness.

As a result, it is important to determine what kind of environment will be best for you. Do thrive in an open floor plan or private office? Does it need to be well-lit or low light? Any aesthetic preferences? These are some of the questions to think through when evaluating a potential employer.

To ultimately make you feel like the most effective and efficient employee, find a company that has the best workspace that will ultimately fit your working preference.

Day-to-day workload

You may love your work, but here’s something to consider — do you love it enough to do the same task day after day?

Maybe your answer is yes! Then you may want to think about a job with a more predictable schedule and set tasks,

However, you might think rolling over the same spreadsheets every day is monotonous and mind-numbing. That’s okay too! You may need to find a role with some diversity where everyday looks a little different.

Most likely, you are going to spend the majority of your time and day doing this work. So, it’s important that you are happy with the day-to-day workload in order to be satisfied in your job — and to happily push forward in your career. 

Communication and collaboration

With companies still working remotely, understanding how employees communicate and collaborate with each other is a key factor to consider.

Whether you’re remote or on-site, you will need to work and get along with other employees in order to get things done. That means how a company connects with each other will have a huge impact not only on your job satisfaction, but also on your comfort level.

During your job search or interview, find out what tools/apps team members use for communication. And don’t be afraid to ask questions about partnering with your potential co-workers. For example, asking how frequently team members work together and what types of projects call for collaboration can give you insight into what to expect when you’re working with others.

Dig deeper during the job search to determine if this job role fits your communication preferences and personality. 

Peer recognition and camaraderie

Job satisfaction can be directly impacted by feeling appreciated and acknowledged in the workplace.

No matter what job role you are seeking, it always feels good to be recognized and commended by management. But, it feels even better to be valued by your team. 

We all want praise for a job well-done. Using social media platforms like LinkedIn, look into how peers recognize, support, and connect with each other on a personal level to help motivate each other.

Support from management

It’s hard to successfully achieve your career goals if the leadership and management team are not providing direction.

There is nothing worse than working hard every day and feeling like you’re never meeting expectations. As a result, constructive feedback and access to the resources and support you need to succeed are important factors to consider.

To ensure that the company is giving their employees the help and guidance they need, find out how supportive their leadership team is. For example, during your interview, ask how management contributes to their employees’ success. What resources do they provide to help their team thrive? 

Asking these types of questions can help you determine how satisfied you’d be at the company.

Mental health awareness

Burnout is a real issue and should be recognized by employers.

When considering the importance of job satisfaction, don’t neglect how companies handle the topic of mental health. Your potential employer should recognize the demands of the job and how it can affect each person differently.

If you can, talk with current and previous employees about the company’s work-life balance. Also, ask in your interview if there’s a system in place to prevent burnout and how they help employees who are affected by mental health issues/stress.

To ultimately be satisfied in your job, make sure that your potential employer cares about you both professionally and personally.


Now that you know the importance of job satisfaction, check out these tips on how to find an employer you can trust.

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the co-owner and leader of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.