Recent research commissioned by SEEK New Zealand has revealed that Kiwis are not quite the happy-go-lucky bunch they seem to be, with almost 40% unhappy in their current jobs.
Given that roughly half our waking hours are spent at work, people need to consciously address any discontent and take action to live a fulfilled and happy working life says Janet Faulding, General Manager SEEK New Zealand.
“Kiwis are all too aware of the impact that career satisfaction has on overall happiness with 82% saying it plays a pivotal role in how happy they are generally. With 40% of us actually unhappy, that is 920,000 people in our workforce in jobs they don’t enjoy,” she says.
“It’s important that Kiwis know they’ve got the right to take their career happiness into their own hands. I encourage those who are unhappy in their job to reflect on why this is. It maybe pay related, it maybe the challenge of juggling family commitments but it can also be that they’re just not passionate about their line of work, or don’t find it challenging. Having an open conversation with your manager and coming with a proposed solution is the first step that one can take to control their happiness at work.”
Promisingly, 71% of New Zealanders are willing to do just that, saying that they would be open to trying different things to improve their work-life happiness.
The younger working population is more motivated to change, placing a higher emphasis than most on job satisfaction and so more likely to seek out opportunities for growth and development that propel them forward in their career. More than half of 18-29 year olds (55%) are open to up-skilling, the highest of any demographic group in the research, while 53% would be willing to make improvements within their current role and 21% would change roles entirely if it would result in a happier work-life.
Outside of Generation Y, males are the second most likely group to take their career happiness into their own hands and for this group, money talks. One third of men said they would be likely to put their negotiation skills into practice and instigate salary discussions with their manager sometime in the next six months.
The research also found that, while full-time workers are loyal to their employers and will try to improve their job satisfaction at their current employer first, part-timers seem to hold less attachment to their job and are more likely to look for a new role or career in the pursuit of happiness.
“Full-time staff members are typically more ingrained in the business they work in, and in turn more invested in the success of the company. This leads to an increased sense of satisfaction for a job done well. For those employing large numbers of part-time staff, it is vital to build a culture of inclusion and make sure employees feel their contribution is valued in order to inspire loyalty and retain good staff,” says Ms Faulding.
As the end of the year approaches it is a good time for Kiwis to take stock and reflect on their current career path and identify whether or not they are still heading in the right direction.
“If your job is more labour and not enough love, the good news is that opportunities on SEEK are up almost 15% from the same time last year and there are now more than 18,000 jobs currently listed so it’s a great time to take a look,” Ms Faulding concludes.