Featured Topic: Job satisfaction: Is this your dream job?

Author Mark Twain famously said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” but what is it that leads to enjoying your work, or job satisfaction? Chiu and Chen (2005) reported that variety, autonomy, interaction, responsibility, knowledge, and skill all have a positive influence on job satisfaction. Li, Zhu, and Park (2018) and Wu, Ming, and Huang (2019) found that forging strong relationships with one’s supervisor by, for example, achieving good leader–member exchange, is an effective way to establish and—perhaps more importantly—maintain a sense of job satisfaction. 

On the other side of the coin, job dissatisfaction can result from an imbalance in resource inflow and outflow. For those currently lacking in job satisfaction, Hamidi and Eivazi (2010) focused on five areas for improvement: reducing job stress, improving relationships with both coworkers and supervisors, and receiving fair pay and opportunities for promotion. People who were dissatisfied with their pay reported the highest levels of job stress and the lowest levels of job satisfaction. However, Park, Chae, and Kim (2017) reported that high-performing employees are motivated less by extrinsic rewards (e.g., fast-track promotions) and more by intrinsic rewards (e.g., strong leader–member exchange). Role overload was noted as the strongest contributor to job dissatisfaction in their study. 

Job satisfaction has also proved to be a popular topic of investigation regarding its mediating effects in various relationships. Chiu and Chen (2005) differentiated between intrinsic and extrinsic satisfaction types, and found that intrinsic job satisfaction mediates the relationship between job characteristics and positive workplace outcomes, such as organizational citizenship behavior. Moving away from the work sphere, Yuan, Tan, Huang, and Zou (2014) observed that job satisfaction mediates the relationship between emotional intelligence and perceived general health. These wider applications indicate that it’s worth seeking to improve your job satisfaction not just to gain a sense of fulfilment from your work, but also to maintain good day-to-day health.

Looking to find out more about job satisfaction and how you can achieve it? A personal subscription to SBP gives you access to the more than 6,000 papers we’ve published in the fields of social, behavioral, and developmental psychology, including close to 150 focused on job satisfaction.

Relationship between job characteristics and organizational citizenship behavior: The mediational role of job satisfaction – Su-Fen Chiu and Hsiao-Lan Chen, 2005, 33(6), 523–540.

Leader–member exchange, sales performance, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment affect turnover intention – Liang Li, Yongyue Zhu, and Chanwook Park, 2018, 46(11), 1909–1922.

Guanxi and unethical behavior in the Chinese workplace: Job satisfaction as a mediator – Ruxin Wu, Shuyuan Ming, and Fei Huang, 2019, 47(3), e7294.

When and why high performers feel job dissatisfaction: A resource flow approach – Jisung Park, Heesun Chae, and Hyun Jung Kim, 2017, 45(4), 617–628.

The relationships among employees’ job stress, job satisfaction, and the organizational performance of Hamadan urban health centers – Yadollah Hamidi and Zahra Eivazi, 2010, 38(7), 963–968. 

Mediating effect of job satisfaction on the relationship between emotional intelligence and perceived general health – Lingling Yuan, Xuhui Tan, Cunrui Huang, and Fei Zou, 2014, 42(7), 1057–1068.

Featured Topic: Job Satisfaction[SK1] 


·        Job satisfaction: Is this your dream job?