Leadership Coaching: Work Orientation Determines Job Satisfaction

July 10, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

How do you perceive your work? Your approach to your work largely determines the satisfaction you derive from it. Do you find meaning in your employment? Dr. Amy Wrzesniewski, a Yale University School of Management associate professor and other researchers did some interesting studies about work orientation. Their research can help you classify and recognize your orientation towards your work which can boost your job satisfaction.

3 Classifications Of Work Orientation

There are 3 orientations toward work. Which of these apply to you?

  • Job- people who see their work as a “job” consider what they do as a means to an end. They do their jobs to receive pay, which in turn supports their family, hobbies or lifestyle outside work. These people do not want to involve their jobs with their personal lives. They do not feel engaged and are not strongly connected to their duties, their workplace or the company they work for. For them, a “job” is a merely necessity in life.
  • Career- work considered as a career is focused on attaining success or prestige. People who have careers are strongly interested in moving up the corporate ladder in order to receive raises or a new title. They aim to achieve the prestigious social standing associated with their careers.
  • Calling- people who consider their work as a calling do their jobs as a means of self expression. They obtain personal fulfillment from their work. Working, for these folks, is an integral aspect of their identities and their lives. For them, work is meaningful and they are usually engaged in what they do. They develop relationships and modify their duties to make their jobs worthwhile. Those who do their “calling” are more satisfied with their work and their lives in general. There are different categories for workers having a calling orientation. Some of them may desire good compensation and benefits while there are those who would do their work even without pay.

How many workers are there with job orientation, career orientation and calling orientation? Research by Wrzensnieswski and others found that the percentage is evenly distributed. One third of workers fall into each category of work orientation.

There is basically no right or wrong orientation towards work. However, Wrzensnieski’s studies showed that workers who have a calling orientation are more engaged and satisfied with what they do.

Where do you fall in these three categories of work orientation? Your orientation affects your motivation, your desire or disinterest to continue with your work and your job satisfaction.

By the way, do you want to learn more about leadership in your company? If so, download your FREE ebook here: Guide to Elegant Courage Leadership

Jodi and Mike specialize in executive coaching with individuals and teams. http://lighthouse-leadership.com

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