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Nearly everyone will experience working a job that they do not enjoy at least once in their lifetime. For most people, this experience may happen several times. 

There are endless reasons that may lead someone to experience job dissatisfaction. While it is difficult in and of itself to work a job that you don’t necessarily enjoy, the long-term consequences of job dissatisfaction are even more concerning. Job dissatisfaction can bring not only a loss of motivation and poor productivity but also can contribute to poor overall health and well-being. 

When an individual is trying to secure lifelong recovery, job satisfaction plays an even more critical role in their life. Having a job that a person enjoys and motivates them to stay on track in their life acts as a protective factor against relapse. It is critical to recognize the importance that job satisfaction has on an individual’s mental and physical wellness, both in and outside of recovery. 

What Is Job Satisfaction?

Job satisfaction is generally understood as a combination of contentment, fulfillment, and enjoyment that an employee derives from their job. However, job satisfaction is finding a workable balance with feeling challenged with your workload, appreciated by staff and co-workers, and generally enjoying the role you play. 

Job satisfaction does not equate to an employee enjoying their job 100% of the time and never experiencing stress in their career life. Instead, it is recognizing that a person can find fulfillment in their career, enough so that occasional stress is manageable. 

Job satisfaction is beneficial for several reasons, including:

  • Improving organizational productivity
  • Decreasing employee turnover
  • Reducing job stress
  • Maintaining employee attendance and engagement
  • Offering insight into what is important
  • Making workplace atmosphere more positive
  • Ensuring higher revenues for the organization
  • Recruiting more qualified talent

For those in recovery, job satisfaction becomes even more critical. Several benefits that are linked to job satisfaction for those in recovery include:

  • Reducing the potential to relapse
  • Encouraging engagement in a larger community
  • Fostering time-management and commitment skills
  • Ability to connect with staff and co-workers on a more intimate level
  • Feeling as if your recovery has greater meaning and purpose

The Consequences of Job Dissatisfaction

On the contrary, job dissatisfaction brings about significant concerns for all individuals in and outside of recovery. It is essential to understand that, in many cases, job dissatisfaction is a common occurrence. There are several circumstances that may lead an individual to experience job dissatisfaction, including:

  • Feeling bored with workload or not feeling challenged enough
  • Being overlooked by staff and other co-workers
  • Feeling unappreciated
  • Lack of enthusiasm 
  • Being or feeling underpaid
  • Inadequate management
  • Lack of development resources
  • Inadequate work-life balance
  • Undiagnosed mental health disorder

One of the most common causes of job dissatisfaction is burnout. Burnout is the experience of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted from intense physical and mental demands. Burnout is often work-related, but it can also derive from any experience of chronic, prolonged stress. Burnout occurs from feeling overworked just as often as feeling under-challenged in the workplace. 

When individuals in recovery experience job dissatisfaction, they are at higher risk of relapse for many reasons. Recovery from addiction already creates many challenging and overwhelming emotions, such as feeling out of place or undervalued in life. If a person in recovery were to show up for work in an environment where they are not appreciated or overlooked, they would likely experience relapse triggers. 

Similarly, addiction and substance use often begin when people feel bored, lonely, or are attempting to self-medicate. If a person in recovery were to go to a job that instills these feelings of boredom or provides no motivation of identifying greater purpose, they will also likely experience relapse triggers. 

How to Recognize Job Satisfaction in Your Own Life

While there are endless reasons why job satisfaction is crucial for those in recovery, it is easier said than done. If you have never enjoyed a job in your own life, you may not know exactly what you are looking for. You may believe that you will never possibly enjoy working, but alas, believe that there is a job out there that is right for you. 

There are ways that you can increase job satisfaction in your own workplace right now, just as much as there are ways that you can increase job satisfaction in your future job. You can consider:

  • Setting clear expectations of your needs as an employee
  • Questioning the expectations of your supervisor and co-workers
  • Focusing on your short and long-term goals as an employee
  • Genuinely caring about the health and well-being of your co-workers
  • Sharing feedback about your organization frequently and offering advice when necessary
  • Signing up for new opportunities to learn or develop your personal growth
  • Shifting your perspective of work
  • Changing your way of work
  • Working on the culture of your workplace by promoting acceptance and compassion for staff

Job satisfaction plays an essential role in how we view our subjective well-being. If you don’t like what you do for work, you feel disconnected from your life experience. You can feel undervalued, under-challenged, and engage in less meaningful opportunities in life. For those in recovery, job satisfaction plays a critical role in protecting individuals from experiencing a relapse. Job satisfaction in recovery motivates engagement, helps people prioritize their mental wellness, and establishes greater community connections. West Coast Recovery Centers is an addiction and behavioral health treatment center that understands that job satisfaction is one of many protective factors that work against relapse. During treatment, we aim to instill in our clients the importance of sustaining long-term recovery through self-care, hobbies, and meaningful opportunities. Make your recovery your highest priority in life by working to achieve job satisfaction in your organization. For more information about our facility, call us today at (760) 492- 6509