The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Satisfaction and its opposite

According to the MacMillan dictionary the prefix “dis” is “used with some nouns, verbs, and adjectives for giving a word the opposite meaning.”

Thus, satisfaction and dissatisfaction will easily be seen as opposites. But are they?

Take for example the question of one’s job. When there is satisfaction with the job, people will be seen as engaged and happy to be there. When someone shows dissatisfaction, it is easy for people to assume that it will lead to that person giving up her job. Seen from this perspective, the opposites can be described as resulting from the expectations people have. That is what they assume others will do.

What this doesn’t consider, is the motivation people have to act on the situation and decide for a change.

Let’s go back to the dictionary:

Satisfaction is “the feeling of pleasure that you get when you achieve or obtain something that you want”. Whereas dissatisfaction is “the annoyed feeling that you get when something is not as good as you expected it to be.”

From these definitions, we can get a sense that there are many facets to choosing to change or staying with a job. Things that are not as good as one expected and obtaining what one wanted hint at differences in the sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

Whatever provides satisfaction in a job will depend on the individual. For some, it will be the pay and other details related to the working environment. For others, it will be the opportunity to do something they want to do. They will compromise on the advantages they have if they feel intrinsically motivated. However, if their situation or image of success leads them to seek material values, they’ll accept a lesser interesting job.

It is the normal path to finding an adequate mix of factors to find something that works. Sometimes it’s compromises, sometimes it’s adjustments.

Another perspective on one’s job are the elements that can be the cause of dissatisfaction. Within these the supporting elements or the circumstances are easing to do one’s job, they can be seen in terms of material or immaterial values. They often are governed by the human habit of comparing themselves with others. When this happens, the job as such is much less relevant than the image of success that person has and how this success can be conveyed to others.

In the world of social media, assessing what one wants and what success looks like depends much more on the person’s ability to know and describe what success looks like to them. In the industrial world, much of this happened automatically within the local community. It was a time when people knew the surrounding organizations and had an idea of what other jobs looked like.

Much of today’s dissatisfaction and migrations from job to job will be connected to this challenge of giving others a clear picture of one’s success. But also, assessing other people’s real success beyond what is visible through the different social media channels.

In essence, satisfaction and dissatisfaction will always be present at the same time. The person’s ability to regulate both into a whole they find themselves happy about will determine if they describe themselves as satisfied or as dissatisfied.




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