How to Make Your Job Better or Find a Better Job

September 20, 2008

If you love your job, consider yourself lucky, there are many people that hate their boss, their job, and what they do. If you are unhappy with your job, you owe it to yourself to figure out what it is about the work that you don’t enjoy and change it.  Life’s too short to spend it working in a job you don’t like.

What Do You Like/Dislike About Your Job?

As you may know I recently found a new job and had to fill out an exit interview for my current employer, giving them feedback on my experience with the company.  As I answered questions about my boss, my group, and the work I did, I realized that I was going through an exercise in job quality improvement.   In order to attract and keep good talent, the company was reviewing the components that can make or break a job so they can do more to remain competitive in the industry.

What Can Make Your Job Better?

Then I realized that this exit interview is actually a perfect set of questions for any employee to ask themselves to help gauge how happy they are in thier job.  I’m including all 20 questions below so that you can evaluate your job.  Your answers will show where there is room for improvement. You’ll benefit from taking the time to answer these questions whether you love your job, think your job is just okay, or are already looking for a new job. 

Love Your Job
If you’re content where you are, just remember there’s always room for improvement, you can talk to your boss about any questions or concerns the survey raises.

Unhappy with Your Job
If you’re not really that happy but don’t want to look for a new job, these questions can help identify your main gripes with the work you do and figure out the main things you need to address to be happy at work.

Looking for a new job
If you’re on the job hunt, these are all things you’ll want to consider when selecting your next job.  No point in jumping from a job you hate into another that’s not so great. You could definitely use some of the topics covered in the questions as evaluation criteria in your job comparison tool.

Job Satisfaction Survey

Here they are, 20 questions that a big company asks its employees when they leave the company.  Answer them about your current job to see how happy you really are or what you should look for in your new job.  Some of the questions are worded such that they assume you’re leaving, just play along and see what you come up with.  For example, your answer to the first question, “Why are you leaving the company”, should reveal right away a high level list of all the things you don’t like about your current job.

I started off this piece by saying, “If you love your job, consider yourself lucky”, but in reality many people who work in jobs they enjoy are there because they took the time to answer questions like these and then acted on their answers.  Take the time to answer the questions below and help yourself find a job that you look forward to going to each day. I know 20 questions can be a lot to answer so I alternated the colors to keep your eyes interested : )

1) Why are you leaving the company?

2) What prompted you to look for another job? 

3) Before making the decision to leave the company, did you investigate other options that would have enabled you to stay?

4) Could anything have been done to prevent you from leaving the company? 

5) What company will you work for?

6) What type of work will you be doing?

7) In what way do you consider your new position to be different?

8 ) How would you rate your immediate manager? 

  • Demonstrated fair treatment
  • Provided recognition of your job performance 
  • Developed cooperation and teamwork
  • Was available to answer questions
  • Resolved problems in a timely manner
  • Provided resources/information to perform your job duties
  • Communicated policies, procedures and expectations
  • Provided regular, timely performance feedback
  • Encouraged suggestions and new ideas 

9) What would you have done differently if you were the immediate manager?

10) How would you rate the following in your department?  

  • Teamwork within the department
  • Teamwork with other departments
  • Communication within the department
  • Communication with other departments
  • On-the-job training
  • Equipment provided
  • Physical working conditions
  • Overall morale 

11) How did your management communicate job expectations?

12) Was your workload usually?
Too Great   About Right   Too Light   Too Routine

13) Were your skills and abilities sufficiently utilized?

14) What did you think your chances for advancement were?
Good   Fair   Poor

15) What did you like most about your job or department?

16) What did you like least about your job or department?

17) What did you like the most about the company?

18) What did you like the least about the company?

19) Evaluate the following company-paid benefits:  

  • Paid holidays  
  • Paid floating holidays 
  • Paid vacation or PTO 
  • Paid sick time 
  • Rate of pay
  • Stock service awards program
  • 401(k) plan match/profit sharing
  • Medical insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Long-term disability insurance
  • Life insurance 

20) Evaluate the following additional benefits/services:                        

  • Vision insurance 
  • Voluntary life insurance/AD&D 
  • Short-term disability insurance 
  • Leave of absence policy 
  • Wellness programs
  • Educational assistance
  • 401(k) plan
  • Direct deposit
  • Total pay card
  • Internal on-line job posting  

If you do decide to leave your current job just remember to calculate the costs of a new job, carefully evaluate the new city if re-locating, plan for health insurance coverage, make sure you rollover your 401k, and give two weeks notice so you don’t burn any bridges.

This job satisfaction survey and tips on job evaluation are part of the Career Finances Guide.

Ben

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Ben

Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn’t like the other kids… His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he’s helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.


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