By Marshall Brown, 2011 Conference Career Center Presenter

Don't Just Survive Sign Post PhotoThere’s no quick fix to finding fulfilling work–you know, the kind of work that gets you out of bed in the morning before the alarm clock rings. Some people give up on the pursuit of job satisfaction altogether, buying into the belief that work is a means to end, a necessary evil, something you have to do to pay the bills.

Others believe that job satisfaction is linked to finding a new job. They believe their lack of fulfillment is rooted in the job itself or in the organization they are working for. They stay at one job until the honeymoon is over, and then they move on to another.

But moving on is becoming increasingly difficult. Our economy is in a major slump, and new jobs are hard to come by. Not to mention that moving from job to job is an exhausting endeavor in itself . . . especially when you never really find what you are looking for.

Forget the economy, forget everything you have been told about job satisfaction, and focus on these two facts:

  • You don’t have to accept the slump you are in.
  • It is possible for you to find satisfaction . . . in the job you have right now.

There are no quick fixes. You will have to take responsibility for your own situation, and you will have to make a serious commitment to your job and career growth. But your efforts will be rewarded.

Try these 10 strategies to improve your situation in your current job now.

  1. Get in Touch with Your Passions. Your passions never really go away. While they may be a little rusty, the things that feed your soul and stir your heart are still within you.
  2. Engage. The cure for exhaustion is not rest. It is involvement. When you are truly absorbed in something, you feel energized. The connections you feel from participation create the drive you need to perform your absolute best.
  3. Manage Your Supervisor. Be one step ahead. Always have a good strategy in place to address resistance from your supervisor. Build a mutually beneficial relationship.
  4. Challenge Yourself. Do not wait for your employer to engage your interests, skills, and education. What skills and experience do you need for your dream job, and how could you improve them? Take a class, ask someone to mentor you, or educate yourself through books, CDs, podcasts, and seminars.
  5. Tweak Your Job to Your Natural Preferences. Understand how your natural preferences match up with the structure of your job. Identifying what is working for you, as well as what is not working for you, will allow you to move toward making changes in your job’s structure that better suit you.
  6. Clarify Job Requirements. One of the keys to feeling good about your job is knowing what is expected of you. Request clear expectations, advocate for needed education and training, and ask for frequent reviews.
  7. Connect with People. When you think about it, much of the reason why we do our jobs is to serve other people. Understanding how you affect the lives of people around you–both inside and outside the workplace–can increase your satisfaction.
  8. Invest in Improvement. By allocating a specific amount of time toward education and self-improvement, you can significantly increase your specific job skills, as well as knowledge about the industry in which you work. As you gain the education and knowledge necessary to excel in your job, your fulfillment and enjoyment will increase.
  9. Make Time for Life Beyond Work. Paying attention to both your work life and your home life is integral to increasing job satisfaction. If you find that you are working more and playing less, chances are you will also notice your enthusiasm and motivation–and eventually your performance–decrease.
  10. Choose Your Mood. Reframing a “bad” situation–finding the silver lining in something negative–can completely change your outlook and increase your satisfaction at work.

Here’s wishing you much thriving!

About the Author
Marshall Brown Bio PhotoMarshall Brown, president of Marshall Brown & Associates, is a certified executive and career coach and personal brand strategist. Marshall has always had a passion for helping professionals find ways to succeed in the workplace while living happy and fulfilling lives. Unleashing & Channeling Your Power to Succeed—reflects his commitment to supporting and encouraging his clients to find their passions and unique talents, while seeking additional possibilities to move from mediocre to exceptional. He sets the bar high for himself and others, and is the catalyst for new and breakthrough thinking. He may be contacted at marshall@mbrownassociates.com