Thursday, March 3, 2011

Job Satisfaction

I saw a truck driving the other day with a design on it that read “Job Satisfaction this way” and an arrow pointing forward. Perhaps it was supposed to indicate that job satisfaction was closer than you’d think, but the message struck me as very sad. I thought of Tantalus, yearning for food but having it constantly out of reach. No matter how fast or how far the truck travels, the arrow isn’t going to change. Job satisfaction will be perpetually out of reach.

I kind of feel that job satisfaction will always be out of reach for most of us. No matter how far we progress in salary or authority, we may always feel like we haven’t done enough. It’s that perfectionist attitude that seizes this country’s work force (or at least, the ones worth mentioning)—it’s healthy and productive to continually strive for improvement, but if that urge is too strong, it means there will never be any sense of satisfaction. It’s a continuous, tantalizing hunger that will never recede.

It’s also, in part, a “grass is always greener” mentality. Maybe someday, you’ll be able to achieve a high enough position to quench your sense of worth. But you may always wonder if perhaps another field or another realm would be better for you. It’s sad to think about, and difficult to remedy even if you can recognize it in yourself. But the rewarding complacence of job satisfaction may forever elude us all.


  1. How motivating. I'm at the point now at which I pretty much have to start deciding what I want to do with my future. I have no idea yet, but this sounds.. promissing.

  2. Another thing. Would we actually want to be completely satisfied. What do you live for if not to strive for something more satisfying? ...

  3. In my last job was so sad all the time, that I thought anything would be better than that.