…And now, here’s a thought for everyone who’s not happy with their work.
The Satisfaction with Life Scale was developed to assess satisfaction with people’s lives as a whole. The scale does not assess satisfaction with specific life domains, such as health or finances, but allows subjects to integrate and weigh these domains in whatever way they choose. It takes only a few minutes to complete.
Author: Ed Diener, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Satisfaction with Life Scale
By Ed Diener
Below are five statements that you may agree or disagree with. Using the 1 – 7 scale, indicate your agreement with each item by circling the number on that item. Please be open and honest in your responding.
|Strongly Disagree||Strongly Agree|
|In most ways, my life is close to my ideal||1||2||3||4||5||6||7|
|I am satisfied with my life||1||2||3||4||5||6||7|
|The conditions of my life are excellent||1||2||3||4||5||6||7|
|So far, I have the important things I want in life||1||2||3||4||5||6||7|
|If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing||1||2||3||4||5||6||7|
Add up your score and see the explanation as to what it means below.
|IF YOUR SCORE IS…||YOU ARE…||WHICH MEANS…|
|30 – 35||Extremely satisfied||Respondents who score in this range love their lives and feel that things are going very well. Their lives are not perfect, but they feel that things are about as good as lives get. Furthermore, just because the person is satisfied does not mean she or he is complacent. In fact, growth and challenge might be part of the reason the respondent is satisfied. For most people in this high-scoring range, life is enjoyable, and the major domains of life are going well – work or school, family, friends, leisure, and personal development.|
|25 – 29||Satisfied||Individuals who score in this range like their lives and feel that things are going well. Of course their lives are not perfect, but they feel that things are mostly good. Furthermore, just because the person is satisfied does not mean she or he is complacent. In fact, growth and challenge might be part of the reason the respondent is satisfied. For most people in this high-scoring range, life is enjoyable, and the major domains of life are going well – work or school, family, friends, leisure, and personal development. The person may draw motivation from the areas of dissatisfacti|
|20 – 24||Neutral||The average of life satisfaction in economically developed nations is in this range – the majority of people are generally satisfied, but have some areas where they very much would like some improvement. Some individuals score in this range because they are mostly satisfied with most areas of their lives but see the need for some improvement in each area. Other respondents score in this range because they are satisfied with most domains of their lives, but have one or two areas where they would like to see large improvements. A person scoring in this range is normal in that they have areas of their lives that need improvement. However, an individual in this range would usually like to move to a higher level by making some life changes.|
|15 – 19||Slightly dissatisfied||People who score in this range usually have small but significant problems in several areas of their lives, or have many areas that are doing fine but one area that represents a substantial problem for them. If a person has moved temporarily into this level of life satisfaction from a higher level because of some recent event, things will usually improve over time and satisfaction will generally move back up. On the other hand, if a person is chronically slightly dissatisfied with many areas of life, some changes might be in order. Sometimes the person is simply expecting too much, and sometimes life changes are needed. Thus, although temporary dissatisfaction is common and normal, a chronic level of dissatisfaction across a number of areas of life calls for reflection. Some people can gain motivation from a small level of dissatisfaction, but often dissatisfaction across a number of life domains is a distraction, and unpleasant as well.|
|10 – 14||Dissatisfied||Peole who score in this range are substantially dissatisfied with their lives. People in this range may have a number of domains that are not going well, or one or two domains that are going very badly. If life dissatisfaction is a response to a recent event such as bereavement, divorce, or a significant problem at work, the person will probably return over time to his or her former level of higher satisfaction. However, if low levels of life satisfaction have been chronic for the person, some changes are in order – both in attitudes and patterns of thinking, and probably in life activities as well. Low levels of life satisfaction in this range, if they persist, can indicate that things are going badly and life alterations are needed. Furthermore, a person with low life satisfaction in this range is sometimes not functioning well because their unhappiness serves as a distraction. Talking to a friend, member of the clergy, counselor, or other specialist can often help the person get moving in the right direction, although positive change will be up the person.|
|5 – 9||Extremely dissatisfied||Individuals who score in this range are usually extremely unhappy with their current life. In some cases this is in reaction to some recent bad event such as widowhood or unemployment. In other cases, it is a response to a chronic problem such as alcoholism or addiction. In yet other cases the extreme dissatisfaction is a reaction due to something bad in life such as recently having lost a loved one. However, dissatisfaction at this level is often due to dissatisfaction in multiple areas of life. Whatever the reason for the low level of life satisfaction, it may be that the help of others are needed – a friend or family member, counseling with a member of the clergy, or help from a psychologist or other counselor. If the dissatisfaction is chronic, the person needs to change, and often others can help.|
- Diener, E., Emmons, R.A., Larson, R.J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75.
- Pavot, W. & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 164-172.
- Pavot, W. G., Diener, E., Colvin, C. R., & Sandvik, E. (1991). Further validation of the Satisfaction with Life Scale: Evidence for the cross-method convergence of well-being measures. Journal of Personality Assessment, 57, 149-161.
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People spend about 50% of their waking hours each day at work (based on 8 hr/day work schedule and 8 hr/day sleep). That’s half of your waking hours each day, during the week. How do you chose to spend that time? Are your interests closely matched with your skills in your current career? In this case, I congratulate you on achieving the ultimate career goal and would appreciate your comments on how you’ve come to this below.
It is important to find the right job for you. For most of us, the reality is that we have to work… hard… for a long time. If you’re spending almost half of your waking (weekday) life on doing something you’d rather not do, you’re wasting a large part of your life. Wouldn’t it make sense to find a career that you are passionate about? I predict the answer to that is ‘yes’. Know that it is possible and within your reach.
Before you can begin to focus on a path to a life and career you love, you need to know where you are. You need to take stock of where you are at this point of time before you can make any decisions on the next steps for your life and career.
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakes.” – Carl Jung.
Your unique skills, knowledge and personal traits (or characteristics) usually define the types of work which you are best suited for. Then there are your interests – the subjects or activities you find stimulating and are most likely to be motivated to do. Sometimes the type of work that you do doesn’t line up with your interests. And this causes dissatisfaction.
Where do you start?
Begin by taking inventory of your interests. What do you like to do during your time off? This list will go a long way in helping you determine your interests. Keep a journal with you at all times and write down things that you love doing in real-time.
Better yet, contact us for a free 30-minute consultation where we can help you figure it out.