Job Satisfaction:Work-Life Balance and Learning opportunities

Work- life balance  and opportunities to learn and grow  are the most important factors for job satisfaction according to a survey developed by Office Team, a staffing service. Read more

Job Satisfaction: Value of humor and fun underestimated?

This week one of the topics in my psychology college classes was again Job Satisfaction. As always, I asked my students what  based on their work experience the most important aspects are for being happy at work. The top job satisfaction factors always are money/salary , good relationship with co-workers and supervisors, meaningul work, promotions and opportunities to learn and having fun at work.

When I’m reading research studies about job satisfaction, the aspect of fun and humor is rarely included. It seems that having fun is not given much importance by the scientific community.

Employers also are having a hard time to see how humor and fun could be good for business. Too often bosses believe that employees chatting and laughing at the water cooler are just wasting time and money. Read about the value of humor and fun:


Author: Christiane Turnheim. Christiane is Life & Career Coach at She teaches psychology at a Boston-area Community College and published the workbook “Learn to love your Job”. She can be reached at <> ;

Work no escape if unhappy at home

Did you ever try to forget stress at home by immersing yourself in work? For a short time this strategy may work, but over the long run becoming a workaholic will not compensate for unhappiness in private life according a new study from Kingston University’s Business School.

British researchers studied the job and life satisfaction of more than 10, 000 people across thirty European countries. They found that job satisfaction and life satisfaction are correlated, meaning if you are happy in your private life you are also more likely to be happy at your workplace; and those, who are unhappy at home, are also more likely to be unhappy at work. The researchers found no evidence that someone, who is unhappy at home will feel compensated by work in any way.

One explanation for this finding could be that happiness has also a genetic aspect according to psychological studies. Inherited personality traits such as negative affect (tendency to have emotions like anger, fear or hostility), self-esteem, extraversion, emotional stability, self-efficacy (perceived ability to master the environment), and locus of control (perceived amount of control about one’s life) impact overall happiness. Someone, who feels in control over his/her life, has self-esteem, is emotionally stable, and feels competent are genetically predisposed to be happy with their  jobs and life in general.

Author: Christiane Turnheim. Christiane is Life & Career Coach at She teaches psychology at a Boston-area Community College and published the workbook “Learn to love your Job”. She can be reached at <> ;

10 Best and 10 Worst Jobs

It pays off to have job training in math, science or computer software engineering. According to a new job ranking by CareerCast, a job listing and research site, these professions are the best jobs in 2011 based on income, job prospect/ job security, stress level and work environment:

Top ranked is software engineer, followed in order by mathematician, actuary, statistician, computer systems analyst, meteorologist, biologist, historian, audiologist, and dental hygienist.

The worst jobs are: roustabout as the worst, followed by iron worker, lumberjack, roofer, taxi driver, EMT, welder, painter, meter reader, and construction worker.

Of course, the ranking criteria used by CareerCast are rather superficial as job satisfaction does not depend solely on salary, job stress or work environment. For most people, other factors are important too: Opportunities to learn, relationships with co-workers and management, career advancement options, feeling appreciated……

Also not considered in the ranking: individual aptitudes and personalities. For some people, software engineer may indeed be the best job ever; for others however, it may be the worst.

Find out what would be the best job for you based on your interests and needs – read my eBook

Written by Christiane. She is psychologist and Life & Career coach. Contact her at <>

Dreaming of Career Change? What is holding you back?

Are you feeling stuck in your old job? Are you unhappy with your current line of work?  Then you are not alone. Many people dream about a new and more satisfying job but only a few dare to take the necessary steps.

 So, what is holding you back? Fear of the unknown? Afraid that you would have to take a pay cut? Doubt about your skills and abilities? Feeling “too old” for starting over?

It’s true, making a career change can be a scary prospect – but think of the payoff: Loving again what you do, feeling challenged, seeing purpose, helping others, having fun… In all, working in your dream job means so much more than just getting a paycheck.

It’s not an empty phrase when I say that it is never too late to make a career change. In my college classes, I have every semester a few students, who are well into middle age. They are eager to learn, inspired by their goals, and therefore are often the highest achievers in class.

If you have a strong desire for a career change, don’t allow your fears to hold you back.

Many people find it difficult to find the energy, time and information needed for a successful career change. They worry that they may make a wrong choice and waste money on expensive retraining programs.

My Career Coaching Program can help you to find the right career for you.

I will help you:

  • Identify your interests and abilities
  • Explore career alternatives
  • Find your dream job
  • Compare and evaluate education and job training options
  • Make an action plan witha  step by step guide to achieve your career goal
  • Plan your finances
  • Overcome roadblocks and obstacles that you may encounter on your way to a more satisfying new career.

 Email me to find out more:  <>

 Christiane Turnheim is psychologist and Life & Career Coach. She also teaches Psychology at a Community College in Massachusetts. Visit her website at

In Job Interviews, Modesty No Virtue for Men

Sadly, but true: Even in the 21st century, we still must adhere to certain gender rules to be successful. 

 A doctoral candidate at Rutgers University researched recently what happens if men break these gender rules. More than 200 students of both genders viewed videotaped staged interviews of male and female  job applicants. All the applicants were paid actors who delivered rehearsed similar modest responses for the position.

It turned out that the students judged the applicants as equally competent; however, the modest males were perceived as weak and therefore, they were less liked while modesty in women was not viewed negatively.

Original article:

Christiane is psychologist and Life & Career coach. Contact her at <>

Happy employees may be the key to success for organizations

I recently read an article on about the impact of Employee job satisfaction on the financial performance of a company:

ScienceDaily (2010-08-14) — When a JetBlue flight attendant creatively deplaned earlier this month, many questions arose as to why someone would be willing to give up a steady paycheck during these tough economic times. While this “working man’s hero” will most likely be questioning his motives as he hands over his lawyer’s fees, a new report in Perspectives on Psychological Science, suggests that his action may be a sign of trouble for JetBlue and other large companies. … read full article 

Why you should take your vacation days!

US employees get on average per year 9 days paid leave and 6 paid holidays – despite the fact that the US is the only advanced economy in the world that has no paid leave law. European workers, for comparison, get in minimum 20 days of paid leave in addition to paid holidays. In my native country Austria, workers can get even up to six weeks of paid leave plus 13 holidays.

In the US, full time employees and those with a higher income are more likely to get paid vacation days than part-time and low wage workers. And despite having on average only nine days of paid vacation, roughly a third of employees with vacation benefits don’t take all of the vacation days they receive. Many believe that management perceives it negatively if they take vacation. A typical fear in these days of high unemployment is that workers are afraid that they may get replaced if they don’t give 110 % and therefore they rather forego on the well deserved time-off. About 25% of those, who do take vacation, stay connected with their company by checking work email or taking phone calls from the office while on vacation. About one third of employees admitted in an survey that they feel guilty about taking time off.

They shouldn’t – because it’s not only in their own interest if they use their vacation days to relax and refresh. There’s also a benefit to the employer: Workers who don’t get a break will become exhausted and burned-out over time. They are no longer able to perform to their full potential. They are also at risk for depression and other health issues, which may end up to cost the company more than the vacation days. On the other hand, workers who come back after a break with new energy and new perspectives and ideas will be more productive.

Therefore, talk to your employer about your vacation needs and how the company can even benefit from it. Plan ahead and talk to your co-workers about your vacation. Ask a co-worker to cover for you if necessary and offer the same favor in return. Final advice: don’t take work with you and avoid checking emails. It’s quite unlikely that your office will fall apart just because you take a few days off.

And with these lines, I say “Good bye” for two weeks. I will be on vacation in Austria!

Christiane is a Life and Career Coach. She also teaches psychology at a community college in Massachusetts. You can reach her via her website or email her.

Measure your Job Satisfaction

The ten sections of the Job Satisfaction Wheel represent important factors, which for many people determine job satisfaction.

 Print the wheel. Seeing the center of the wheel as 0 and the outer edges as 10, assign each section a value between 0 and 10, depending on YOUR satisfaction with the particular factor at YOUR current workplace. If you connect these values with a straight or curved line to create a new outer edge, do you still have a nice, round wheel?

 If you see areas that need improvement, take action. Don’t accept a dissatisfying job situation! Call me at 781 777 2791 or email me to schedule a Free Coaching introduction session to find out how Career Coaching can help you.

 Read also my e-workbook “Learn to Love your Job” with information and activities designed to help you to find satisfaction in your job. Learn more about the book.

How to be happy at work?

How to be happy at work? The answer: Be happy in your life.

According to a new study published by the British Psychological Society people, who feel generally happy in their lifes are more likely to like their jobs. On the flip side, those who are unhappy in life are unlikely to be experiencing  job satisfaction. Also, looking for a new job is probably not the solution as those dissatisfied with their lifes will probably find something wrong with the new job, too.

So, what can you do? Psychologists still discuss and research the genetic component of happiness. However, it’s never genes alone.

People, who are unhappy in life and in their jobs have most likely learned certain thinking styles, behaviors, and expectations that hinder them to achieve happiness. Possible causes could be for example black and white thinking and perfectionism (if it’s not perfect, it’s awful), unrealistic expectations, focusing on negative aspects and neglecting positive events and so forth.

The good news: As these thinking styles, behaviors and expectations are learned, they can be unlearned.

Written by Life and Career Coach Christiane Turnheim. Christiane teaches psychology at a community college in the Boston area. To contact her, visit her website