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April 24, 2013 / Dale Melchin

Job Satisfaction: Fact or Myth

This term job satisfaction can seem like an oxymoron to the average American worker.  Most of the people I know personally unfortunately hate their jobs.  Its because they are putting survival above calling or aren’t even aware of the concept of a calling.  The unfortunate thing is that most of us go in put in our time go home and pursue or true joys off the job according to Dr. Stephen Covey.  Just by sheer reason one should be able to tell that this is not a mentally or emotionally tenable position to be in.  Michael Hyatt on his podcast 49 identifies the three components of job satisfaction.  They are: Passion, Market and Competence.  I won’t go into much detail here and will let the podcast speak for itself.  Nevertheless these are immutable laws of life.  If you are going to have job satisfaction all of these must be in place.  In fact this was proven to me by reverse logic in my current day job.

Last year I had a coworker named Jeff who despised the company that we both worked for even though he worked there for nearly two years.  When I found out he got a job doing web design for one of our local newspapers I congratulated him and he left.  When I asked another coworker, Jeremee how Jeff was doing he told me he was doing well at the new job.  It old the mutual acquaintance that I was glad that he had found worked that he enjoyed.

Jeremee proceeded to cop an attitude with me saying that not everyone thinks work is the most important thing especially Jeff that he had other interests like music and so on.  I didn’t give much push back but it really got me to thinking.

Why would you spend most of your time doing something that is so miserable or hateful?  It just didn’t make sense to me.  And really I was offering Jeff positive vibes.  Even though I went through a couple of rough patches at my job, overall I like my job and dislike certain elements of it.


But, I digress, I did some research into the guys worldview.  And I discovered the concept of alienating work.  Which is a Marxist concept.

What it amounts to is that according to Marx the worker having no control over his job had other aspects of his being alienated from his by his work.  At work the worker is supposedly only able to express labor and as a result is treated by an industrial establishment as a thing, not a person.


While this may have been true of the pre-union era and is true from a certain point of view now.  The reality only gains actualization from the worker’s lack of vision or mission for his life, not from the existence of the industrial institution.  In other words, we has workers have a choice of how we are going to approach our work and how we approach our lives.  The only person that makes alienating work a reality is the worker.


If you approach life from a reactionary vantage point alone and as a fight for survival, without and planning or personal leadership, of course you are going to feel alienated.  You are not viewing yourself as being in control of your life.  The key is to have a major paradigm shift where you realize that you, regardless of how far down the food chain you are have master and command of your life, even if you are not living in harmony with that reality.

Three key take aways are this.

1. How do you want your life to end up?

2. What do you plan to do to get there?

3. What steps are you going to take today to make that happen?

These questions are not exhaustive and by no means will paint the total picture for your life.  They are only intended to plant the seeds to a more vision centered life.

What is your response to the 3 questions above?


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