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Job satisfaction and the Maslow pyramid

We are all familiar with the Maslow pyramid in which human needs are classified into basic needs (physiological and safety needs), psychological needs (belongingness and esteem needs) and self-fulfilment needs (self-actualization). Looking at job satisfaction based on your needs and the many factors that influence these. You will quickly see that in the first instance it is challenging to ascertain our true needs. Out of all the defining factors and personal preferences that make up job satisfaction. It becomes an almost impossible task to ascertain the importance of individual needs and if in fact, there is a hierarchy between them. We wondered what would happen if we would place the most common attributes of job satisfaction into Maslow’s pyramid and the result is below.

Although this is a personal interpretation, we hope it might help you to define which factors are more important to you than others, for example by answering the following questions:

  • Is it possible to grow in an unsafe work environment? If yes, is it worth it?;

  • Is job content more important to me than good relationships with my colleagues or manager?;

  • Am I willing to work for a lower salary if I am able to contribute to a cause I find important? If so, are there any limits?;

  • If an important factor is missing, am I able to influence this? If so, how?

Mapping out your hierarchy of job satisfaction could help you decide if it’s time for a change or to decide between multiple opportunities. The luxury of choice is an ever-increasing problem for many professionals in the current industry. What are the most important factors to you?


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