Growing up, almost everybody has some idea of how they want their life to turn out. A large piece of this idealistic lifestyle is the job that we aspire to have someday. Unfortunately, not everybody’s expectations are met when it comes to finding the perfect job. Instead of finding and landing a fulfilling and rewarding job, many people find themselves stuck with a job that they’ve settled with, just to make ends meet. Of course, this in turn leads to major job dissatisfaction and even overall unhappiness in life.
In fact, according to a large-scale US study conducted in 2014, more than half of Americans – about 52% – were unhappy with their jobs. Researchers are now starting to learn that this sort of job dissatisfaction actually has substantial long-term health implications later on in life as well. Specifically, the jobs that people have in their 20s and 30s tend to affect their overall health starting in their 40s.
Full article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/312458.php
Another US study conducted by Jonathan Dirlam and Hui Zheng at Ohio State University examined the long-term health effects of job satisfaction early on in people’s careers. They used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 (NLSY1979), in which the participants were between 14-22 years old when the first survey was conducted. Based on the original set of collected data, the following was discovered:
- 45% of the participants felt that they had consistently low job satisfaction.
- 23% felt that their job satisfaction started out high but began to decrease after a while.
- 17% felt that their job satisfaction started out low but then trended up after a while.
- 15% felt that they had consistently high job satisfaction.
In the follow-up research that Dirlam and Zheng conducted recently, when the original participants were in their 40s, they used the group that reported consistently high job satisfaction as a control group. In doing so, they discovered the following trends about job dissatisfaction:
- Individuals in the ‘consistently low’ satisfaction group reported increased depression, excessive worry, problems with sleep, and various mental health issues – more so than in any of the other groups. Although this group’s mental health was affected much more than their physical health, they did still report increased physical health issues as well, such as persistent colds and backaches.
- Individuals in the group who started with high job satisfaction but then decreased over time fell somewhere in the middle of the health issues spectrum. They reported more trouble sleeping and excessive worry than the ‘consistently satisfied’ group. They also had lower mental health scores. They did not, however, seem to have increased depression or other emotional issues.
- Fortunately, individuals in the upward trending group didn’t see any added health issues compared to the control group. In other words, as they were able to remedy their once-high job dissatisfaction, they were able to spare themselves the ill effects of job dissatisfaction.
US studies paint a clear picture of job satisfaction being correlated to mental health. Might the same be true for Aussie workers? If so, it’s extremely important for business leaders to lead happy workplaces. Making sure that your employees feel satisfied with their jobs not only helps to improve the overall success of the business, but helps to maintain your employees’ mental and physical health as well.
HSG offers positive psychology workshops in a lunch-and-learn format. These can be combined with other workshops and activities to build an annual workplace wellbeing program that addresses your organisation’s wellness objectives. Call us today on 1300 889 073 and tell us about your objectives.