Job satisfaction matters. Of course, everyone would like to be happy with their work. But beyond that, scholars have also shown that job satisfaction is crucial for workers’ mental wellbeing and physical health, on the one hand, and important for employee performance and retention, on the other hand.
When we think about job satisfaction, we usually think about things like wages, office culture, or opportunities for self-fulfillment. But job satisfaction has another side to it: does your job make you feel like a good person?
Workers who think their job is meaningful are more likely to have job satisfaction. In particular, workers who think their jobs help others are more likely to report being satisfied with their jobs. In other words, you’re more likely to stay with your job if you think you’re helping others.
In that case, we might expect people who thought they were not helping to leave their jobs, assuming they had the means to do so. After all, people tend to avoid stigmatizing situations when possible—and doing unhelpful or harmful work is usually morally stigmatizing.
Which begs the question: why do admen and adwomen stay in their industry, when it’s generally viewed so negatively?