Cooking Up Job Satisfaction

As a college student, especially those close to graduation, there is a lot of pressure to get a job. People are always asking, “Have you found a job?”, “What are you doing after graduation?” or “How is the job search?” Due to this pressure, many new graduates will accept the first job offer they receive, but may not be a wise choice. Why you ask? The job may not be the right fit.  You might not enjoy this job, and within 6 months to 1 year you are already trying to search for a new role. I think having an idea of what will keep you happy at a job is just as important as finding a job. Job satisfaction will make you a better employee and allow you to have a better life, and that’s what we all want right?
So today I have created the recipe for job satisfaction.
Ingredient List and Directions
  • 1 or 2 degrees from a top institution in the country
  • Stir in your skills, interests, values – Find a role where your skills will shine, and you are excited to be there.
  • 1 Cup ideal work environment – This can change per person. Think about what will satisfy you every day. Do you want to work individually or with teams? What does the physical office, structure, lab, etc look like? What are your co-workers like? Do you want people who share the same interests and lifestyle, or are you looking to broaden your horizon by engaging in an entirely new culture?
  • A dash of humor – Who doesn’t want to laugh at work?
  • 3 ping-pong tournaments – Are perks like this something you desire? Many companies now have similar incentives. Free snacks, yoga classes, bringing your dog to work, or a coffee bar.
  • 20 DU Alumni – Recently the Career Center staff visited Denver based Four Winds Interactive, this innovative company has 20+ DU alumni who have created an alumni chapter at work. They even hold social events after work. Find a place where you feel like you belong.
  • Add $$$ – What is the right salary for you? Ideally we will all get paid more than we need but accepting the first job that comes along may not allow you to live within your means. Do some research on the city you are living in, how much will you need? $40,000 in San Francisco, CA is not the same as $40,000 in Columbus, OH.
  • Mix in a great leader – What does leadership mean to you? Do you value autonomy and ownership over your work? Do you need to feel like you are making an impact?
  • Sprinkle some desire – Do you believe in this organization? Are you a “company woman/man”? Can you stand behind your work and be excited to share what you do?
  • Cook for 20+ years at 40 hours a week
I hope this helps you grasp what it means to be satisfied at work, and allows you to begin thinking about what you want out of a career and what will keep you engaged and satisfied every day!

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