Quick career tips: use this job satisfaction checklist as your career compass

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In this episode of Quick career tips, Sujani discusses job satisfaction. 

Depending on which study or survey result you review we know that not 100% of the population is satisfied with their job. This number ranges anywhere between 50% to 75% for job satisfaction in North America. We know that many things contribute to job satisfaction. While an organization/employer is responsible for some of these things, we also have a role to play in our own job satisfaction.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why tackling job satisfaction is important to us here at PH SPOT.
  • Why job satisfaction should matter to you.
  • How you can take control of your job satisfaction.
  • Understand what is important to you, and how to take the first step.
  • How to use our simple worksheet to work through identifying the top 5 factors important to you

Featured on the Show:

Other Resources:

Episode Transcript

Sujani 0:02
Welcome to PH SPOTlight, a community for you to build your public health career with. Join Us Weekly right here. And I’ll be here too, your host Sujani Siva from PH SPOT.

Hey, everyone, thank you for joining me today on another episode of PH SPOTlight, a space for you and me and everyone else in public health to share our stories and inspire each other. My name is Sujani Siva, the host of PH SPOTlight, and I’m here to help you build your public health career.

And welcome to the first Quick Career Tip of the year. And today we’re going to talk about job satisfaction. So depending on which study or survey result you review, one thing is evident, which is that we know that we don’t have 100% of the population satisfied with their job. And this number can range anywhere between 50% to 75% for job satisfaction in North America. This means that at any point, anywhere between half to a quarter of the population is not happy with their job. We know that many things contribute to job satisfaction, including the work itself and how it aligns to your strengths and interests, and the perceived impact of the work you’re doing. Additionally, things like salary, health and wellness benefits, that people you’re surrounded by, flexible working arrangement, vacation benefits, and other non monetary benefits and policies also play a role in this. So you may be wondering, you know, why does this matter? So maybe we’ll start with why this matters to us at PH SPOT.

Our mission here at PH SPOT is to help you build your dream public health career. When we talk about a dream public health career, we not only think about the job that you will hold and the impact that it will have on the world. We also define a dream public health career as one that ties back into your unique life, a career that can coexist with the aspects of your life, whether that’s balance, flexibility, or even space to be creative at your job. And these unique factors make up your unique dream career. So even if we take the lower end of the stats on job satisfaction, that, a quarter of the population, not happy with their job, that’s a huge number and that’s a big deal to us here at PH SPOT. And secondly, job satisfaction should matter to you because let’s be honest, work and life are not separate. They bleed into each other and one affects the other. Satisfaction in your career means a more satisfied life overall. And who doesn’t want that, right? So the next thing you may say to yourself is, “Do I even have control over these factors that contribute to job satisfaction?, and I’m here to tell you that you do. So of course there are elements that an organization is responsible for. But there are things within our control that lead to job satisfaction. And by control, I mean that we can decide what factors or criteria are the most important to us, and ensure that the job that we find is aligned to it. Additionally, you also have the power to influence the change you want to see within your organization. But I know that that’s a lot to think about right now especially to influence change within an organization.

So in today’s episode, I simply want to encourage you to reflect and identify the top factors important to you, that will ultimately lead to job satisfaction. Knowing what you want will guide you to the role that is best suited for your unique self. What do I mean by that? Okay, so let’s take this example, if you think that teamwork and collaboration is at the top of your list, meaning if you were to find yourself in a role where you had to do a lot of independent work, say four out of five days, you are on your own, there’s a high chance that over time, this will take a toll on how satisfied you are with your work. The content area may be one that you’re super passionate about and the people in your team may be world renowned public health practitioners and they act as great mentors. But the mere fact that the work you must deliver on is 90% based on independent work is a misalignment for you. So by identifying the factors, or the criteria of most important to you, will help lead you to the role that will give you the most satisfaction.

So if you’re currently job searching, these top factors act as a compass when you search and apply to jobs, as well as questions to ask at your interview or negotiate your offer. On the other hand, if you’re already in a public health role that you enjoy, knowing these factors will help guide your conversations with your manager and plan the next steps of your career. You can have discussions with your manager on how you should get involved in more teamwork, for example, or if having flexible working arrangements or more opportunities for creative work are important to you, knowing this allows you to start the conversation with your manager on how to tailor your current role to your liking. So that’s my challenge for you today in this Quick Career Tip. And I know that giving you these tips is one thing, but showing you exactly how to do it is also important. So that’s why I’ve created a worksheet for you. So if you want to get started on this right away, take a look at this quick worksheet that helps walk you through identifying the factors that are important to you to help you prioritize them, and then choose a top five to use as your Career Compass. So if you head over to pHspot.org/careercompass, you can download that now. And along this topic of showing you the how, I want to let you know that if you’re looking for more guidance in reducing the overwhelm and uncertainty in building your public health career, we can help you through our six week, hands on intensive training program that empowers early professionals, recent graduates and students with the mindset skills and tools required to land a public health job, advancing your career, and become future public health leaders.

So like I said, if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about building your dream public health career, then I invite you to check out this program at pHspot.org/program. You can now join the waitlist and we will notify you when the next cohort opens up.

And so that’s a wrap for this episode. If you want to get the links and information mentioned in today’s episode, head over to pHspot.org/podcast. And we will have everything there for you. And until next time. Thank you so much for tuning in to PH SPOTlight and for the invaluable work that you do for this world.


About the Show

PH SPOTlight: Public health career stories, inspiration, and guidance from current-day public health heroes

On the show, Sujani sits down with public health heroes of our time to share career stories, inspiration, and guidance for building public health careers. From time to time, she also has conversations with friends of public health – individuals who are not public health professionals, but their advice and guidance are equally important.

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