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Have you ever worked a job where you felt like you should be happy, but you just weren’t? Maybe the money and the benefits were good but for some reason you still dreaded Monday mornings…and all the other weekday mornings that end in “y”. If so, you know that job satisfaction is about so much more than just salary.

After working for decades to help Texans find meaningful employment, Brelsford Personnel understands that job satisfaction goes beyond just financial compensation. We believe that everyone deserves to find work that aligns with their values and priorities, work that brings a sense of purpose and fulfillment to their lives.

Why is job satisfaction so important? Well, when we're unhappy in our work, it can have a negative impact on our mental health, our relationships, and even our physical health. On the other hand, when we find work that we enjoy and that aligns with our values, it can lead to increased motivation, creativity, and productivity.

That's why, as a staffing agency, we're passionate about helping job seekers find job satisfaction beyond just a high salary. We believe that everyone deserves to find work that brings them joy, and that's why we're taking a hard look at the psychology of job satisfaction.

So, if you're ready to find work that aligns with your values and priorities, and that brings a sense of purpose and fulfillment to your life, keep reading. We'll show you why salary isn't everything when it comes to job satisfaction, and we'll share practical tips for finding work that truly makes you happy.

The Psychology of Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction isn’t just about the paycheck. It’s the positive emotional state that arises from a person's overall appraisal of their work experience.

As human beings, we spend a significant portion of our waking hours with those we work with, our colleagues. Therefore, healthy relationships with positive interaction, support, and a sense of teamwork are crucial to job satisfaction. Gates Brelsford points out, “One negative person with their negative thoughts and actions can multiply and spread negativity, which can ultimately lead to dissatisfaction.”

In addition to healthy relationships, he says, we also desire accountability. Feeling responsible for our work and being able to see the impact of our contributions can provide a sense of fulfillment. It's important to be recognized and acknowledged for what we do and how we contribute to the team. Without recognition, we may feel undervalued and unappreciated.

Research has shown that autonomy, mastery, and purpose are also crucial psychological factors for job satisfaction. While a high salary is important, it's not the only factor that contributes to job satisfaction. In fact, once our basic financial needs are met, additional income does not necessarily lead to greater job satisfaction.

Non-Salary Factors That Add Up

If money isn’t everything, what else gets people out of bed in the mornings? These non-salary factors have a big impact on employee engagement and retention:


Autonomy is the feeling of control over one's work, decision-making, and ability to use one's skills and knowledge to perform a job. Lack of autonomy can lead to frustration, dissatisfaction, and ultimately, burnout. For example, if an employee is constantly micromanaged, they may feel like they don't have any control over their work or are not trusted to make decisions. This can lead to a lack of motivation and engagement.


Mastery is the feeling of competence and progress in one's work. When we feel like we're getting better at our jobs, we have a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Conversely, feeling stagnant or like we're not improving can lead to boredom, frustration, and eventually, burnout. For example, if an employee is not given opportunities to learn new skills or take on challenging projects, they may feel like they're not growing in their role.


Purpose is the feeling that one's work has meaning and contributes to a larger cause. When we feel like we're making a difference, we're more likely to feel engaged and satisfied with our work.

On the other hand, feeling like our work doesn't matter or that we're not contributing to something bigger can lead to a lack of motivation and engagement. For example, if an employee feels like their work is meaningless or doesn't align with what makes their life most meaningful, they may feel dissatisfied with their job.

Healthy Relationships

As mentioned earlier, healthy relationships with colleagues are crucial for job satisfaction. Feeling supported, valued, and like we're part of a team can lead to a positive work environment.

Conversely, negative interactions or lack of support can lead to stress, dissatisfaction, and even health problems. For example, if there is a toxic coworker who constantly brings negativity to the workplace, it can affect the entire team's morale and lead to a negative work environment.

Job Satisfaction Post Pandemic

The pandemic has had a significant impact on job satisfaction, particularly with the shift to remote work. For some, the ability to work from home has been a game-changer, allowing for increased flexibility, autonomy, and work-life balance. However, for others, the isolation and lack of social interaction have been a source of stress and dissatisfaction.

We’ve seen firsthand how the pandemic has affected job satisfaction for remote workers. While some are thriving in a remote work environment, others are struggling with the lack of human interaction and feeling disconnected from their colleagues. Gates Brelsford shared, “One person even told me that the high point of their day was going to Brookshire’s!” This highlights the importance of healthy relationships in the workplace and the need for human connection.

At Brelsford Personnel, we understand that remote work isn't for everyone, and we strive to match our candidates with the right opportunities to ensure their job satisfaction. When we do place someone in a remote position, we make sure that their comfort level is there and provide them with resources to stay connected with their colleagues.

However, the trend now is more towards in-office work, with companies calling people back to the workplace. While some may be apprehensive about returning to the office, others are looking forward to the opportunity to reconnect with their colleagues and feel a sense of normalcy. As the trend moves towards in-office work, it's important for employers to prioritize healthy relationships in the workplace and provide opportunities for social interaction and human connection.

Finding Lost Job Satisfaction

If you're a job seeker who is struggling to find job satisfaction despite having a good salary, it's important to self-examine and reflect on what is missing. Dissatisfaction can accumulate and make for a lot of misery, so it's crucial to identify what changes are necessary to turn things around.

First, take the time to identify what is missing from your current role. Is it a lack of meaningful work, a toxic work environment, or a lack of growth opportunities? Once you've identified the problem, make a plan and take action. It may take time to see improvement but by taking small steps towards your goal, you can gradually work towards achieving job satisfaction.

It's also important to have gratitude for even having a job. At our staffing agency we’ve seen firsthand how fortunate we are to be working and enjoying life in a place like Tyler, Texas. In other parts of the world, the unemployment rate is as high as 20%. By keeping this in mind and maintaining a positive attitude and a sense of gratitude, you can approach your job search with a sense of perspective and appreciation.

Sometimes the answer is finding a new job. Search our current opportunities when you click here.