Why Do So Many Employees Lack Enthusiasm? Maybe the Problem Is Lack of Fulfillment

Career engagement is at serious lows. Increase your job satisfaction by switching industries.

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Salaries once ruled the job market: The higher the income, the more likely the employee would be to stay with the company for the long haul. Now, everything’s changed.

As a study on Millennials’ working attitudes from Department26 notes, the new breed of worker puts ideals and fulfillment above paychecks. Consequently, even a job with sizable bonuses and hefty perks can leave a young team member cold. In other words, even though educated Millennials are likely to be saddled with student loans, they aren’t willing to become slaves to cash, especially in an economy where positions are plentiful thanks to record low national unemployment. Now, fulfillment — not pay — reigns in the world of job satisfaction.

But what do words like “being passionate about my role” mean? That’s something every employer and job candidate must ask themselves in order to create or find environments suitable for attracting and retaining top talent.

Common traits of winning workplaces

What does an engaging workplace look like? Typically, it has the characteristics of offering fulfilling career paths and customized on-the-job advancement.

When asked what fulfillment means to them, Millennials typically explain that the emotional response comes from a very personal place. For instance, a job that has a direct impact on one group isn’t going to be fulfilling for all people. Thus, fulfillment becomes a subjective term: What motivates one person does nothing for another.

Perhaps this is why Gallup’s research indicates that 67 percent of employees are either going through the motions at work or actively showing their negativity whenever possible. It’s easy to assume the problem lies with the company or the staff member; perhaps the core issue boils down to fit.

A great example would be an organization aligned with the mission of helping people by providing education. Workers not attached to that vision, such as those who would rather work for a corporation that’s tackling environmental concerns, may lack a sense of purpose and belonging. Yes, they’re making a difference, but they’re not making a difference where it counts for them.

As for career advancement opportunities, businesses that bring out the best in their people seek to understand them first. After that point, the organization and its C-suite personnel can support individual goals based on what each person needs and wants. By sincerely helping its people work toward achievements and overcome challenges, the company can generate feelings of constant reward.

Often, companies that offer personalized goal setting have a strong sense of internal and external community and culture. Perhaps the business is well-known in its industry as a leading disruptor. Maybe it’s won awards for diversity and impact. Regardless, the organization has shown that it’s involved in more than pushing papers, making widgets, or punching time clocks. It’s an organization that moves with integrity buffered by a set of ethics that all employees can get behind.

Industries that excel in fulfillment

If a fulfilling career sounds like a pipe dream, be assured that it’s not. Several broad industries constantly receive high marks for fulfillment, including fields such as teaching, psychology, firefighting, artistry, physical therapy, and security.

Looking for alignment in your work and personal life? Perhaps one of these paths is the right route to take for a solid paycheck that doesn’t lead to feelings of disengagement or undue stress.

1. Healthcare

About one in 11 people are working in the healthcare market, which 24/7 Wall Street says is the biggest employer market in 11 states. Because so many healthcare jobs allow employees to directly see their impact on patients and their families, they afford an opportunity to get “in the trenches” in a meaningful way. Plus, seasoned healthcare workers can provide mentorship to newer colleagues, increasing both parties’ acumen and understanding.

2. Education Administrators

Although you might assume that teachers are the most fulfilled workers in any school, education administrators often get top billing. One survey indicated that 95 percent of administrative personnel who worked in elementary education and high schools felt that what they did had a lasting effect on future generations. Just because they weren’t in the classrooms didn’t make them less excited by what they could accomplish toward tomorrow’s good.

3. Military Roles

Perhaps not surprisingly, people who choose military careers tend to cite their choice as incredibly fulfilling. In fact, 88 percent of those in a survey said their positions were meaningful. Even though being a part of an active militia can be highly stressful at times, it can also produce high rewards for the right personality types.

In an era where Indeed.com and ZipRecruiter regularly overflow with chances to switch employers, you never have to feel married to a lackluster profession. If you’re griping more often than gushing about your job, you owe it to yourself to take a serious look at what makes you tick. Then, you can find an industry and employer that aligns with your values.

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