B Case study: Analyze the case and answer the questions at the end. You have probably been dissatisfied with a job at one time or another in your life. When faced with a dissatisfying job, researchers and job holders alike usually think in terms of job: Ask for more pay, take control over your work, change your schedule, minimize contact with a toxic co-worker, or even change jobs. While each of these remedies may be appropriate in certain situations, increasingly researchers are uncovering an interesting truth about job satisfaction: it is as much a state of mind as a function of job conditions. Here, we’re not talking about the dispositional source of job satisfaction. It’s true that some people have trouble finding any job satisfying, whereas others can’t be brought down by even the most onerous of jobs. However, by state of mind, we mean changeable, easily implemented ways of thinking that can affect your job satisfaction. Lest you think we’ve gone the way of self-help gurus Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer, think again. There is some solid, albeit fairly preliminary, evidence supporting the view that our views of our job and life can be significantly impacted by changing the way we think. One main area where this “state of mind” research might help you change the way you think about your job (or life) is in gratitude. Researchers have found that when people are asked to make short lists of things for which they are grateful, they report being happier, and the increased happiness seems to last well beyond the moments when people made the list. Indeed, gratitude may explain why, when the economy is in bad shape, people actually become more satisfied with their jobs. One survey revealed that, from 2007 to 2008, when the economy slid into recession, the percentage of people reporting that they were “very satisfied” with their jobs increased a whopping 38 percent (from 28 percent to 38 percent). When we see other people suffering, particularly those we see as similar to ourselves, it often leads us to realize that, as bad as things may seem, they can always be worse. As Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow wrote, “People who still have jobs are finding reasons to be appreciative.” So, right now, make a short list of things about your job and life for which you are grateful. Now, after having done that, do you feel more positively about your job and life? Now try doing this every day for a week. Do you think this exercise might make a difference in how you feel about your job and your life? Questions 1. So, right now, make a short list of things about your job and life for which you are grateful. Now, after having done that, do you feel more positively about your job and your life? 2. Now try doing this every day for a week. Do you think this exercise might make a difference in how you feel about your job and your life?
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