There is a saying that goes like this ‘Knowledge is a function of your intelligence, while Wisdom is a function of your experience, which itself is a function of time’
As we all grow older, our priorities morph, we get a bigger picture of what matters in life and we also get to reflect on our past. As we continue with the cycle of time, we also realize that the only way to understand these changes in priority is to experience it ourselves. After all, it is most likely that a few years ago, we ourselves would have shunned something a as ‘Whoa ! We will never give this more importance’ till we actually face it.
There comes a time in life, when you stop thinking that you are the most intelligent being on the planet and learn to respect the thoughts and experiences shared by others.
So, back to the topic of this post. What really is job satisfaction ? I guess it really is a factor of the stage in life that you are in.
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1-2yrs: You start as a fresh young engineer, wanting to make big money. Your loyalty belongs to any company that offers a 20% hike over what you are payed today.
2-4yrs: With a couple of years experience under your belt, you realize that respect at your job strokes your ego well. You will, ofcourse, still leave if it’s a 30% salary hike.
5-9yrs:You have matured a bit. You likely get married, start a family. Your wife demands more attention, you demand more respect and would prefer to be in a company that values your time and respects you.
10-15yrs: the deadly period of middle management. You have a pot belly to show for these years. You are torn between family, money and respect. You want it all, and don’t want to wait. You wonder if you will ever get out of this rut. Infact, you really don’t know how you landed yourself here in the first place.
15-20yrs:When you start getting bald, it is time to get into the big league. All of a sudden, money becomes more important (because you are in senior or exec management role and are fighting for a fraction of a percentage of ownership of millions of stock options). Ofcourse, money becomes important also for family reasons – maybe you need to replenish your child’s college fund. Interestingly, around that time, family commitments are better manageable, because you now have a new fire in your belly – make the company more successful and become very rich with your options. Your family is not ‘new’ anymore, so they settle down.
20+ yrs: You now have a look of a wise man. You have been there, done that. You have made your money, made a difference and now need to play with your grandchildren and give back all the time to your wife and child that you dedicated to your work in the previous phase.
So really, job satisfaction is completely a function of your stage in life.