Australia’s Most Satisfying Jobs

As the Great Job Boom continues to bring more opportunities for workers across Australia, now could be an ideal time to not just move roles, but find a new job that brings you greater satisfaction. 
Drivers of job satisfaction 
Job satisfaction is now even higher on the must-have list for workers. SEEK’s Resident Psychologist Sabina Read says COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to reflect and reassess what we want to do in our lives. 
So, what are the key drivers of job satisfaction? Read has defined a list of 10 key ingredients. 
1. Purpose 
A sense of purpose comes from knowing your work is impacting others in meaningful ways. 
“Purpose is a powerful driver of job satisfaction,” says Read. “It doesn’t matter about the seniority or the industry. Everyone wants to feel that their work matters and is making a difference to others.” 
2. Sense of belonging 
Do you feel that you can be yourself at work and that you’re an important part of the team?  
“When we feel that it’s safe to bring all of ourselves to work, we feel a strong sense of belonging,” says Read. “And when we feel a sense of belonging, I think most people will have a higher chance of thriving.” 
3. Work-life balance 
Work-life balance is about having a sense of control to live the life that you really want. 
“If that means having enough time outside of work for your interests, then that will be an important consideration in the way you carve out your work life,” says Read. 
4. Career progression 
Not everyone wants to be a CEO, but career progression is an important element of job satisfaction. 
“Career progression is an indication that what we are doing is creating change,” says Read. “It’s a barometer of growth.” 
5. Salary 
Money might not be everything, but it does matter. In terms of satisfaction, Read says the key is whether we think we’re getting paid fairly. 
“Salary matters most when we feel we are unfairly remunerated. When there’s a sense of fairness, additional dollars don’t necessarily correlate with higher levels of satisfaction.” 
6. Job security 
It’s hard to promise job security, especially in times of economic instability, but Read says there are signals that make you feel confident that your role is here to stay. 
“Is there a sense of stability in an organisation? What’s the average longevity of its employees? Job security taps into a deep psychological need to be looked after if things get tough.” 
7. Relationship with manager and colleagues 
When there’s a grievance at work, Read says it’s usually relationship based.  
“As a result, we must assume that when relationships are going well, they lead to higher levels of satisfaction. It allows us to focus on other areas of our work, because we are not feeling the need to people-please or negotiate conflict.” 
8. Learning and development 
If work feels meaningful, we generally want to improve the way we do it. Read says people are “hardwired to learn”. 
“I think people should be thinking broadly about what learning and development means to them. It’s not just about traditional educational opportunities. I’ve seen organisations give people learning opportunities outside the scope of the role, and it’s created a sense of inspiration, satisfaction and energy.” 
9. Variety at work 
Variety doesn’t require changing roles every few months, but it’s satisfying to try something new.  
“Variety at work is about building on your existing skill set,” says Read. “When we can do that in a job, we naturally build higher levels of diversity in tasks and styles of work.” 
10. Workplace culture 
Many employers talk about their ‘strong workplace culture’, but what does it mean in practice? 
“When you feel that what you value most dearly doesn’t match the values of an organisation, you start to feel eroded.” When you find a workplace with a culture that aligns with your values, it can create a stronger sense of satisfaction.
Which jobs are the most satisfying for workers? SEEK gathered data on the most satisfying roles across Australia from the past two years and they include:
  • Disability Support Worker
  • Support Worker
  • Director
  • Medical Receptionist
  • Truck Driver
  • Administrative Officer
  • Team Leader
  • Receptionist
  • Picker and Packer
  • Boilermaker
Switching jobs or roles, or even trying a whole new industry, may give you the greater sense of satisfaction you’re looking for. For anyone needing assistance with career direction, we offer career coaching, which is an opportunity for you to ascertain your career direction, confirm your talents and transferable skills and gain valuable information on labour market and job search strategies.


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