Helene Bonne

Author, Jobindex
11th of February 2020


Job satisfaction is a shared responsibility in a workplace, and you can do something to increase job satisfaction and shape the perception of you in your company! Here are 6 pieces of advice and 3 tips on what you can do to increase your personal job satisfaction.

Jobindex has previously highlighted that the relationship between you and your boss is one of the most crucial factors for your job satisfaction. But it’s not just your manager who has a responsibility for job satisfaction. You have one too, says communication and management consultant Vibeke Hartkorn.


In addition to Vibeke’s 6 tips for creating more job satisfaction, which you’ll find at the bottom of the article, you’ll also find 3 tips to consider. Because although Vibeke believes your manager should take the lead and create the framework, you can influence your job satisfaction yourself, as job satisfaction stems, among other things, from the feeling of being important – and we feel that when we hear recognition for the contribution we make. So, while we know that good colleagues are very important for your job satisfaction, feelings of recognition and appreciation also play a big role in your perceived job satisfaction. And somewhere in the somewhat intangible space between factual work tasks and feelings about how and who you are among your colleagues and your boss, there is an opportunity to shape your personal job satisfaction by:

1:arriving well rested, inspired and happy

2:increasing your opportunities through good relationshipbuilding

3:remembering to set up expectations.


“The prerequisite for job satisfaction is that we feel safe, satisfied and connected to the community, and when we are on the same wavelength and have aligned expectations in a collaborative way, job satisfaction is a short path. You can shape and stimulate perceptions of you in your organisation by exuding positive energy, building good relationships and being sharp at aligning expectations,” she says.

Tip 1: Arrive well-rested, inspired and happy

According to Vibeke, it’s a good idea to become aware of what we need to do to keep ourselves happy at work – get rested, live healthily, surround ourselves with people in our personal lives who don’t drain us of energy, seek inspiration and so on, so we build up a surplus and are harder to knock off our feet if things are going wrong at work. It also makes you more attractive for your boss and colleagues to work with.

“It’s hard not to be attracted to the positive energy you bring with you, and it’s much easier to opt in when you want to be invited into the tasks that are exciting,” she says.

Conversely, of course, if you radiate a heavy energy, that energy affects others and there can be a (often unconscious) opting out of you.

“Your boss or your colleagues may think you’re great, but they can’t explain why you’re being passed over anyway. It’s usually because your energy seems repulsive. You need to spend time cultivating that awareness of how you appear to others and get feedback on it,” says Vibeke, advising that in addition to showing up at work alert, rested and positive, you work on your own self-development and communication skills by becoming aware of your desires and taking responsibility for aligning expectations.

Tip 2: Increase your opportunities through good relationships

If you want something special in your company – perhaps moving to a different department or having more or more fun opportunities that give you job satisfaction – Vibeke points out that your relationships are also a way to create the opportunities. Here she shares a personal experience:


“I didn’t understand that spending time building relationships with my bosses was crucial to getting the fun assignments. I didn’t understand that the others had time to sit and drink coffee and talk about trivia. It had to be enough that I was conscientious and did my jobs well. It wasn’t. Only later did I realise that I was responsible for building trust, being inspiring and being clear about my ambitions,” she says.


“I also hear many bosses say that if the employee themselves says ‘I’m ambitious, I want that promotion or that job’, then it’s easier to choose the person who themselves knocks and is pushy,” Vibeke says.


“And that choice happens even if the others are not necessarily better or on the same level as you,” she says.


Tip 3: Remember to set expectations

For Vibeke, expectation matching is almost a prerequisite for job satisfaction, because job satisfaction can be defined, among other things, as the match between what you give out and the reaction you receive from people who are important to you. In this light, expectation management becomes important, and yet we are often not very aware of what we can do ourselves to manage expectations in time.


“Dissatisfaction and frustration can also come from having an unrealistic view of your own value creation and not understanding why others are chosen over you,” says Vibeke, again urging self-reflection.

“If you have taken responsibility for ensuring that there is a clear alignment of expectations between you and your co-workers or your boss, and you agree on what you want to achieve and how you want to feel about each other in the process, and remember to give feedback along the way, then job satisfaction will usually follow naturally,” she says.

Therefore, there is a link between the alignment of expectations and your job satisfaction, and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure job satisfaction in a workplace.

“And it’s not just your boss’s responsibility to remember the expectations, it’s yours too,” Vibeke concludes.


Vibeke’s 6 tips for creating job satisfaction

  1. Make it fun to solve tasks together. Be aware of time wasters and bad habits.
  2. Find ways to bring positive energy into the workday through celebrations, surprises, physical activities and well-being initiatives. Take responsibility for getting the energy up during the day.
  3. Take an interest in each other’s lives outside the workplace and support each other with ideas for a well-functioning personal life. For many, work and private life are equally important and flow into each other.
  4. Be keen to align expectations and put yourself in the shoes of others.
  5. Nip them in the bud and resolve conflicts immediately, and crack down on bad behaviour. Intervene when you see others not being proper.
  6. Take the lead in showing good examples of collegiality, bring others into the exciting tasks, and openly recognise each other when you succeed.

Who is Vibeke Hartkorn?

Vibeke Hartkorn is an independent communication consultant, board member and author of 3 books on personal impact and leadership communication. She also works as a coach and consultant in career development, personal impact training and stakeholder communication, and you may have seen her as a news presenter on TV.



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