What does it take to be happy with your work situation? Given all the talk about the 'Great Resignation', the end of hustle culture and the legitimate, far-spanning criticisms of work culture in the past few years, it can feel a bit like job satisfaction is just an illusion.
There is a difference between being 'happy at work' and 'happy with your work situation'. The former implies a job where you feel fulfilled every single day and work is a pleasure; the latter focuses more on being satisfied with the role your work plays in your life. This could be a role that is less fulfilling but stable and doesn't unduly stress you, or a role that doesn't pay as well as you like but still pays alright and makes you feel like you are contributing. 'Happy at work' is a somewhat nebulous concept built on overreaching expectations and often leads to disappointment and frustration, while 'happy with your work situation' is far more pragmatic and forgiving.
But how to reach that goal? According to Refinery29 UK's Money Diaries Facebook group, there are three basic tenets (in no particular order):
This is, of course, oversimplified. These aren't the only three things that you can or should get from your job: a great package comes to mind, along with working conditions and safety, and the opportunity to learn new skills. But at its core, you can often boil down job satisfaction to these three factors.
We asked some women in the group for their insight on how they managed to find all three across a range of industries. Whether you're feeling stuck in your career or just looking for some inspiration, their journeys to their positions will hold some answers.