Wednesday January 15, 2014 | 07:07 PM
Posted by Barbara Babkirk

Imagine…It’s Sunday night and, even though you’ve had an enjoyable weekend, you’re feeling down, even a sense of dread.

At first your change in mood takes you by surprise, but then it hits you: tomorrow is Monday and you’re not happy about returning to work.

If you can relate to this scenario, you are not alone. It’s estimated that more than half of all Americans do not enjoy their jobs. To paint an even bleaker picture, more people suffer heart attacks on Monday mornings than on any other day—a sobering statistic.

So, what does it take to find work that is satisfying and that shifts your attitude about Mondays?

The keys may be in a simple formula that seems to consistently result in sustained job satisfaction.

S+I+V=Job Satisfaction


  • Skills: Your work predominantly calls on the strengths, competencies and proven abilities that you currently enjoy using.
  • Values: The work you do and the mission of the organization for which you work align with your values. Your work is meaningful to you in some way. 
  • Interests: The topics surrounding your work as well as work-related discussions and professional development activities are ones that engage you.


To have one or two of these factors in your job may seem adequate, but over time, it’s likely that you’ll lose interest and motivation. Typically, all three need to be part of your work experience to sustain a sense of satisfaction.


So go ahead; assess how your job stacks up against the formula. You might discover what’s missing in your current job and have a tool with which to evaluate your next one.


About this Blog

Barbara Babkirk is a Master Career Counselor and founder of Heart At Work Associates, a career counseling and outplacement firm in Portland.

With a focused and intuitive approach, Barbara makes a difference in people’s lives by helping them design a new life chapter. She has a successful record guiding career transitions for professionals ranging from executives and artists to attorneys and entrepreneurs.

An expert in her field, Barbara is a public speaker on work-related topics writes a solutions-oriented column about work for the Portland Sunday Telegram.


Scott Woodard is a career coach with Heart At Work Associates, a career counseling and outplacement business in Portland, Maine.

Scott works with clients to identify and articulate their value and their personal brand. He helps clients develop clear, concise and crisp messaging to convey their particular difference, their achievements and their approach.

Scott coaches clients to market their brand through social media platforms, especially LinkedIn. He offers monthly workshops on how to make the most of LinkedIn for businesses or job seekers.

Previous entries

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.