Most Aussies spend around 44 hours a week working. And if you’re going to be spending a sizeable chunk of your week at work, you want to make sure you love what you do, right?
When it comes to happiness, money isn’t everything. Sure, a decent salary will go a long way towards making you feel satisfied with your current job, but there are also other factors at play – such as job security, hours worked and the kind of support you receive at work.
Read on to discover which industries rate the highest on the job satisfaction scale, and how you can find your dream job.
Defining job satisfaction in Australia
First of all, what exactly is ‘satisfaction’? Whether you enjoy or do not enjoy something is totally subjective, and it depends on a lot of other factors in your life. For example, according to a report by Curtin University, age plays a significant factor in how satisfied we are with our work. Gen Z are more likely to feel satisfied with their work compared to Gen Y and Gen X.
The report also found that things like hours worked, job security and education level also came into play when it came to feeling satisfied with one’s career.
People who held a VET qualification were generally more satisfied with their job than those who held a bachelor’s degree or postgraduate degree. Overall, 31% of people who held a certificate III or IV or a diploma said that they were ‘very satisfied’ (the highest rating on the scale) with their work.
Only 25% of people who hold a bachelor’s degree said they were very satisfied. An even smaller percentage of people (23%) who hold a postgraduate degree claimed to be very satisfied.
A similar report from The Wellbeing Lab found that workers with greater autonomy were more likely to see themselves as ‘consistently thriving’ (the highest rating on the scale). It also looked at factors like the kind of support people were getting at work, how they felt about managing their own wellbeing, and the importance of relationships at work.
What are the most enjoyable jobs in Australia?
In the report from Curtin, they don’t pinpoint specific jobs; but they do list which industries have the highest satisfaction levels. We’re going to sift through these industries and list some of the employable and enjoyable career paths that are out there within these different sectors. This could help you get thinking about what you want from your career and what your dream job might look like.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
1. Farm Hand
Being a Farm Hand isn’t just a job – it’s a lifestyle. And it can prove to be a wholly satisfying career choice for those with the dedication and enthusiasm for life on the land. There are many different types of farming you can pursue, from aquafarming to livestock to crops.
Combine your green thumb with your eye for detail and become a Landscaper. Landscaping is all about improving an existing environment for functional or aesthetic purposes. A Landscaper’s job involves planting flowers, trees and shrubs, trimming hedges, watering and fertilising plants, controlling pests and adding hardscape elements such as paths and pavers.
If you’re passionate about the environment and interested in how healthy ecosystems thrive, then working as a Forester could be for you. The role of a Forester is about maintaining, protecting and developing healthy forests. This involves studying the effects of the environment, pests and diseases and the impact they have on forests.
Education and Training
1. Childcare Worker
Working in childcare can be hugely rewarding for the right kind of person. Every day will be different and you’ll get to help young children grow and develop, knowing that you’re giving them a great start in life.
2. Early Childhood Educator
The role of an Early Childhood Educator differs slightly from that of a Childcare Worker. An Educator’s role has more of a focus on the emotional and mental development of children before they’re ready to enter primary school. This means that you’ll work on building a curriculum for young children that helps them develop in key areas.
3. Teacher’s Aide
As a Teacher’s Aide, you’ll assist and support Teachers in a classroom environment. This will usually involve preparing teaching materials and other admin duties that help take some of the pressure off the Teacher. Some Teacher’s Aides specialise in assisting children who speak English as a second language, who are living with disabilities or who have specialised learning needs.
Healthcare and Social Assistance
1. Nursing Assistant
If you’re looking to begin a career in healthcare, then becoming a Nursing Assistant is a great place to start. Nursing Assistants providing care to patients and also work to support Enrolled Nurses and Registered Nurses by monitoring patients’ vital signs, reporting patient observations and performing various basic administrative tasks.
A Counsellor helps clients by talking them through their personal concerns and advising them on different options for getting help and developing coping strategies. By utilising different counselling techniques, they help to empower clients to gain a deeper and clearer understanding of their issues.
3. Allied Health Assistant
Essentially, allied health covers everything that doesn’t fall under dental, medical or nursing. Allied health covers areas like physiotherapy, speech pathology, dietetics, occupational therapy and many other roles. Working in allied health gives you plenty of opportunities to find your niche while also helping clients to improve their health and wellbeing.
Financial and Insurance Services
There are many different types of jobs out there for Accountants, and the role of an Accountant is much more varied than most people imagine. The core responsibilities of an Accountant usually involve analysing expenditure and revenue, preparing reports and budgets, identifying areas where a company can save money and providing financial advice.
A Bookkeeper is someone who maintains a company’s financial books. This may involve data entry, running reports, reconciliation, paying bills and any other task that helps a business’s finance operations run smoothly. If you’re thinking of entering the financial services industry, then this is a great place to start.
3. Forensic Accountant
If you have an extremely keen eye for detail, strong analytical thinking skills and you love solving tricky problems, then a career as a Forensic Accountant could be perfect for you. Forensic Accountants often work with law enforcement and specialise in detecting crimes like fraud and embezzlement by searching for financial irregularities.
Now’s the time to start pursuing your dream career
Tomorrow isn’t a day of the week. There’s no reason why you can’t begin pursuing your career goals today.
But what if you’re not sure what your dream job looks like? That’s ok, too. Here’s a list of ways you can narrow down your dream job search:
1. Do some soul-searching
What interests you? What inspires you? And no matter how outlandish you may think it is, push aside any negative thoughts and really consider what you’re truly passionate about.
2. Get real opinions
Talk to people and get real insider information and facts about any jobs or industries you’re considering. Reach out to family and friends or find people through networks like LinkedIn.
3. How do you see yourself in the future?
Don’t just focus on what you’re good at now – think about areas you’d like to develop and become great at. Everyone had to start somewhere!
4. Get experience
Do some research and find out about internships that could allow you to test the waters first. You could also research educational courses that offer work placement as part of the course structure.
And remember, it’s ok to feel nervous or anxious about going after your dream job. Sometimes it might feel as if you’re about to jump off a ten-metre-high diving board – from the ground, it didn’t look so bad, but now that you’re up here, toes curling over the edge of the board, it suddenly seems much, much higher.
But once you’ve got a solid goal in front of you to work towards, this will help you push through your fears. Focus on what you want you want to achieve and how you’ll achieve it. Because once you take that first step, you’ll realise that taking charge of your future can be extremely empowering and exhilarating.
Need a push in the right direction? We can help you take that leap off the diving board. Take the Open Colleges Career Quiz today.