Are you happy with your job? (and what about your partner, friend or mother in law :-)

The holidays are a perfect time to reflect on your current job. Having the time to think about this is great but sometimes you need some extra input to make up your mind. When I ask people what makes them happy or what makes them unhappy with their job they often mention the following 10 factors: Meeting

What makes people happy with their job? (in order of importance)

  1. Friendly co-workers/good atmosphere
  2. Enjoyable tasks
  3. Good management
  4. Good balance between your work life and personal life
  5. Variety of work
  6. Feeling that your work is worthwhile
  7. Feeling that your contribution truly makes a difference
  8. Being part of a successful team
  9. Recognition of your achievements
  10. Good pay

 What makes people unhappy with their job? (in order of importance)

  1. Insufficient communication on the part of the management
  2. Wages too low
  3. Little or no recognition for achievements
  4. Poor management
  5. Not enough freedom for personal development
  6. No attention paid to new ideas
  7. Too few opportunities for high performers
  8. Lack of fringe benefits
  9. Work is no fun
  10. Feeling that your contribution doesn’t really matter

Perhaps if you take a closer look at these 10 happy and 10 unhappy factors it is already clear to you. For those of you who need (or want) more we made a little questionnaire. This can help you to assess whether your current job or potential future jobs are compatible with you. For each point, award a score of between 1 and 10 (1 = negative, 10 = positive). Naturally, for questions 1 and 2, a score of 0 is also possible. (For more information on this questionnaire take a look at chapter 5 of our book on Happiness at Work).

 Questionnaire: Are you happy with your job?

1. Read through the list of factors that contribute to a happy working environment (see above). How many of these ten factors are applicable?
2. Read through the list of factors that contribute to an unhappy working environment (see above). How many of these ten factors are not applicable?
3. The organization and function suits my personality. See this test for your personality.
4. I can make optimum use of my talents.
5. My values and goals are compatible with the vision and mission of the organization.
6. I get along well with my co-workers.
7. I have a lot of faith in my manager’s ability.


Add up your scores for the seven questions and write down your total score. Read the descrip­tion that corresponds to your score:

54-70: A great result! The chances are high that your work brings out the best in you. If you have completed this test for a potential new job, then seize the opportunity with both hands!

41-53: If this is your current job, then it might be an idea to see what improvements can be made. If this is a potential new job, then it is worth taking the time to think everything through. Are there any alternative jobs that could give you greater satisfaction?

26-40: If this is your current job, then it might be advisable to investigate whether any new opportunities are available to you on the job market. This score suggests that you are greatly in need of change. If this is a possible new job, then you should only take the job if you are in urgent need of work and there are no better opportunities on offer.

5-25: If this is your current job, then it is certainly time to look for new possibilities. If it is a potential new job that you can afford to turn down, then you should do exactly that.

Photo credits: Assistant on CabarEng assignment