How happy are you in your job?



Are you satisfied with your job? Can you pinpoint the aspects of your job that make it satisfying? Could it be your personality that defines the extent to which you are satisfied with your job?

A lot of research has been carried out in this area of occupational psychology, due to the impact that job satisfaction can have on performance and other significant organisational outcomes, such as absenteeism, tardiness and turnover ratio. 


Many researchers have tried to define the concept of job satisfaction in many different ways. The most widely accepted definition is that of Locke (1976), who describes job satisfaction as “a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job or job experiences". Other definitions focus either on a global view of job satisfaction (someone is overall satisfied with their job) or on a more itemized view (someone is satisfied or not with different aspects of their job).


It would be useful to consider which aspects of a job are more strongly related to job dissatisfaction. Identifying and changing these facets could be the first step in becoming more satisfied with your job. Some job aspects that have been associated with job dissatisfaction are:

  • Heavy workload
  • Raised stress level
  • Limited role variety (monotonous-repetitive tasks)
  • Reduced autonomy  (restriction of employees’ ability to do their jobs as they see fit)
  • Role ambiguity (conflicting tasks or tasks the individual believes are not relevant to their role)
  • Limited growth opportunity (including opportunity for promotion and salary raise)
  • Work-life imbalance (e.g. inflexible schedule)
  • Dysfunctional relationships with supervisor/colleagues


However, it’s not only job characteristics that are related to job satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Research has shown that some personal characteristics can also determine how satisfied someone is with their job. These personal traits might be easier to change, since they are solely dependent on an individual’s will to change. This is not to say that changing these personal aspects won’t require time, effort and maybe, professional support.  Some of these individual/personal characteristics are:

  • Affective disposition (the tendency of some individuals to interpret environmental stimuli in a negative way, the tendency to constantly complain and the feeling that one is not in control)
  • Self-esteem (individuals with high self-esteem have been found to be generally more satisfied with their jobs)
  • Age (older employees seen to be more satisfied with their jobs)


According to research the most satisfying careers* in the UK include those of the clergy (being the happiest), CEOs and senior officials, medical practitioners and farmers. It is therefore obvious that those best paid aren’t always the happiest.  It rather seems that there is interplay between the job’s and the individual’s characteristics that defines how satisfied one is with their job.


In terms of how satisfied Company Secretaries are, not much formal research has been conducted. However, The Core Partnership has asked the burning question in our most recent market survey and has found out who the most and least satisfied are in the company secretarial field. Email at if you would like a copy of our latest Company Secretary Remuneration and Wellbeing survey and see for yourself.


If you’re not feeling fully satisfied in your current role, please do call a Recruitment Partner at The Core Partnership, who will be happy to advise you on your options in the market – our confidential line is 020 3589 0333.


*You can see the whole list at

11 February 2015



written by Mariza Dimaki
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