I can honestly say that there is definitely an extreme contrast between having a job that you are very excited about versus a job that you are not experiencing satisfaction. I’m assuming that most people after high school are either undecided what direction they are headed professionally or have an proposed direction but how they are going to get there is a coin toss. I was definitely one of the one who really had no idea what professional path I wanted to take. After high school I bounced around from menial job to job until, by chance, that I found myself on a career path of satisfaction.
My job of satisfaction was definitely my career that I spent in law enforcement. they thing that was so unique about this professional that it brought me satisfaction on varying levels of satisfaction. These factors consisted of the obvious: helping others, improving your community, being put in a position of trust, experiencing something different everyday. During my career I was promoted to the Detective Division and it was during this position that I experienced the ability to work in a very autonomous role. The ability to govern my own work schedule and work with little direct supervision was very satisfying to me. It wasn’t until I transferred into the K9 Unit and became the unit supervisor and trainer that I enjoyed the job satisfaction on a level that I have never experienced before. This position not only involved autonomy, but tapped in to a personal level of experience and comfort that made going to work an enjoyable experience everyday
Since recently retiring from law enforcement I have struggled professionally to find that same level of job satisfaction. After concluding my law enforcement career, I went to in the private sector for a large corporation in corporate security. While I enjoyed a certain degree of autonomy in this position, I experienced a shift in priority from my employer. The difference was a change in focus from helping others to helping the bottom line. I also experienced a significant difference in management style and can only assume this was due to a change in “company” priorities. I have since left the private sector and return to the government sector but am still where autonomy is still very minimal. I think that the biggest factor in my current level of job satisfaction is two fold. I miss doing something that I am passionate about and I also miss making a difference.