Monday, 24 February 2014

49. Can't Get No Satisfaction



Person A earns a comfortable six figure salary at the age of 28, working for a highly reputable financial corporation. Their salary entitles them to a lifestyle that most would love to maintain, and on the outside Person A regularly enjoys the fruits of their labour as part of an overall "glamorous" existence.

Person B earns significantly below the national average at the age of 28, working for a highly reputable media corporation. Their salary prohibits them from enjoying their preferred lifestyle but the nature of Person B's line of work is such that regular international travel, social events and access to freebies are a common occurrence.

Person A is overwhelmingly dissatisfied with their job. Person B, on the other hand, is incredibly satisfied with their daily routine.

If there is anything that my 22nd year has shown me, it is that so many things - commodities, careers, et cetera - appear to hold so much promise from a distance but turn out to feel/be average at best close up. I have met so many young "Person A" professionals who live lives which look amazing on the outside - exotic holidays, great salary, early prestige - but feel inadequate on the inside. Who are coaxed out of bed each morning only by the assurance of security or surrender to routine. Who are not once mentally stimulated during their 10 or 11 hours of work, but would never consider breaking away from their daily cycle.

Of course, not everyone can enjoy some of the aforementioned perks which come with a job similar to that of Person B. Despite perhaps earning less than their corporate peers, let us assume in this instance that Person B is happier at their workplace. There is greater transparency at the top end, a decent work/life balance and an ultimate feeling of passion towards their role - so much so that hating Mondays are a myth and eagerly anticipating Fridays are an irregular occurrence.

But...is job satisfaction overrated? Does one need to be passionate about their job? Should we perceive work as simply being that which places food on our tables and roofs over our heads? Or should we seek careers that we love and that fit us perfectly - because after all, the workplace is where many of us will spend the majority of our waking hours per week? One argument may be that a higher pay packet allows for substantial enjoyment outside of the workplace despite, in many circumstances, limited time for "play" due to unsociable hours. Does person A really need to be happy at work when work for them may just be a way of making honest cash?

1 comment:

  1. Nice article Jas. I think that ultimately, the most important thing in deciding where to work is not actually the surface job description, but more one's own internal reasons (including a plan of action once you get that job and possibly an exit strategy) for working there. Some are chasing ££ for a future idea/to support family, others want an 'easier' life, some wouldn't mind 16-18 hour days because the experience will prepare them for another anticipated venture down the line. All jobs have pros/cons - in order to be happy with your job you just need to it's aligned with your own personal goals.

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