A new study has been released by The Conference Board showing the lowest levels of employee satisfaction in 20 years. Less than half of employees surveyed are satisfied with their job.
Being a researcher, I want to know why. There are the obvious reasons, layoffs over the past couple of years, the way companies treat employees, and lack of opportunities so employees may be stuck in jobs or in companies they are not happy with. I have read several blogs about this study talking about the economy being the cause, or leaders who still don't understand the need of taking care of their employees. I get that and I agree with all of that. However, what I continue to wonder is, is there something bigger going on here? Has the recession caused people to evaluate the role jobs and our work has in fulfilling our lives? Are people coming to the conclusion that they are no longer what they do for a living and are struggling with where to find significance from? I have a friend of mine who quit his job and decided to go to Bible college. I have another friend who is debating about quitting his job to work at a family camp in Michigan.
The other thing I am wondering is this drop in satisfaction a byproduct of a loss of passion in general in our lives. Where did the flame go? You can say what you want about Obama's politics, but I personally believe a big reason he won the election is because he lit a flame in people that they so desperately wanted lit. The past two years have been rough for most, inside and outside of work, people are stressed, tired, and beat down. The flame is now just a flicker.
For 2010, maybe we should focus less on what we do but more on who we are? Less on getting through each day but truly living each day? Are you living your dreams or going through the motions? If not, why not? Don't tell me there aren't opportunities available, that is an excuse. Once you find what you want to do, you will find opportunities.