How Your Career “Type” Affects Job Satisfaction

Feeling motivated in your career pays big in professional growth. At the end of the day, who wouldn’t want to work in a setting where you feel encouraged, stimulated and valued?

While this has been said before, it bears repeating: employee engagement is absolutely essential to the long-term success of a company.

For employers, enthusiastic and motivated staff are the ultimate enablers of innovative thinking, effective problem solving and outstanding client service. As a result, high engagement rates in an organization translate into enhanced productivity, reduced employee turnover, increased revenue and greater client satisfaction.

For professionals, being engaged in their work is integral to career success. Feeling motivated to do more than what is normally required, believing that your contribution is valued and being willing to recommend your employer are all aspects of engagement that pay big dividends in professional growth.

Engagement is also inextricably linked to general career enjoyment. At the end of the day, who wouldn’t want to work in a setting where you feel encouraged, stimulated and valued?

In ECO Canada’s 2011 Professional Engagement study, staff engagement was characterized according to four different engagement profiles: Committed (engaged and intends to stay with the current employer for three years or more), Strategic Switcher (engaged, but does not intend to stay for three years or more), Detached (not engaged but intends to stay) and Disgruntled (not engaged and not intending to stay). The blog, 4 Types of Engagement: Which One are You?, outlines how these four engagement types differ, along with quick tips on specific strategies for each profile.

Based on the report’s findings, these four engagement types can also vary according to several unexpected factors, including:

Career Type

Interestingly, professionals who are managers of people or projects are the most likely to be Committed (55% of employees with this career path). Those employees who work as subject matter experts or technicians/ technologists are more likely to be Strategic Switchers or Detached.

Age Group

This factor is becoming an increasingly popular consideration as more and more workplaces feature multi-generational teams. In the Professional Engagement report, a higher proportion of Millenials are Disgruntled or Strategic Switchers. Generation X employees are as likely as Millenials to be Strategic Switchers (19% of employees in this age group), and as likely as Baby Boomers to be Detached (24%). Finally, Baby Boomers are the most likely of the three different age groups to fit the Committed profile.

For an overview of the characteristics of Millenial, or Generation Y, employees, and how best to engage them, check out this post, Engaging Generation Y: Keys to Managing and Motivating This Dynamic Group. This study from Psychometrics Canada also features useful insights into how engagement influencers vary across different generations.

Company Size
Professionals in a company that has 19 staff or less are more likely to be Committed. By contrast, employees in organizations that have 1,000 or more staff are the most likely to be Detached (32% of workers in this size of the company).

The quick presentation below includes several great tips on the specific engagement strategies that work best for small to medium-sized employers and large companies:

Job Responsibility

For the most part, engagement tends to increase with greater levels of job responsibility. Consequently, a greater proportion of entry-level employees fit the Detached profile (30% of workers with this level of job responsibility). Similarly, a greater proportion of junior staff are Disgruntled. Amongst professionals with intermediate and senior-level positions, a higher percentage are Committed.

What is the main take-away point of all of this? Namely, that engagement reflects multiple factors and as result, effective engagement strategies cannot be one size fits all. Depending on career type, age, company size and job responsibility, different professionals have varying expectations and needs that determine their level of engagement.

Based on your own experience, what are the factors that affect job satisfaction between different professionals? Do you agree or disagree with the factors listed here?

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