Nine Key Factors that Make Some Jobs More Enjoyable than Others

People often say that “a job is what you make of it”

I would argue though that it should be “a job is what it is made of”


When we look back on jobs from our past that we have enjoyed (… and there must be some...), it is often difficult to pinpoint what it was about that particular job that made it so great.

Interestingly, research shows that there are 9 key factors that influence our enjoyment (or not) in a job.

Three of these factors are always good for us – in fact, the higher the level the better with these aspects. They are:


Availability of Money

Physical Security

Valued Social Position


This makes sense as these are all things that we tend to value. When we don’t have these things, our motivation for a job would definitely be reduced.

In addition to these factors though are 6 other aspects that are also beneficial, but only in moderation. With these factors, it is not a case of the higher the better, as too much can actually then start to have a detrimental effect. These 6 items are:


Opportunity for Control

Opportunity for Skill Use

Externally Generated Goals


Environmental Clarity

Opportunity for Interpersonal Contact


At first sight you would think, great, give me all these things in my job and I will be delighted. When you think about it though, there are some real disadvantages of having really high levels of these factors.  For example, if you had a job that had too much variety you would probably struggle to manage everything and may end up getting stressed as a result. Similarly, you may thrive on having control of your job duties, but if you had no direction at all or no support from your managers, could this also start to be a bad thing as well? I guess some successful entrepreneurs would not think so, but for the average person, too much control could prove counter-productive.


Research tends to show that companies that provide optimum levels of these 9 factors are more successful at motivating employees and are high-performing as a result.  In saying this though, one caveat is that individuals all have different needs and may appreciate certain aspects more than others. Extroverts for example, would value opportunities for social contact more than introverts.


Think about your own personality. Which of these 9 factors are most important to you? Bear these in mind next time you are considering a job opportunity, as without them, your long-term enjoyment in the job could soon start to fade.