Our job satisfaction falls after marriage

People tend to feel lower job satisfaction once they get married or become a parent. This is the suggestion of new research from Kingston University's Business School, which found major life events such as these can make individuals less happy in their work for up to five years after they take place.

According to the findings, these negative effects can be more marked in women than for their male counterparts.

Published in the Journal of Vocational Behaviour, the study suggested a peak in happiness at work for individuals just before they tie the knot or bring their first child into the world.

Professor Yannis Georgellis, Director of the Centre for Research in Employment, Skills and Society at the learning institute, explained this may be because the 'spill over' effect from looking forward to an occasion can see positive feelings in the home translated to the workplace.

"But afterwards, people's focus inevitably shifts more towards home life as priorities change and the work-life conflict kicks in. This is particularly true for people when they start a family," the expert added.

David Sharpley, a Chartered Psychologist, comments:

"People’s commitment at work has traditionally been viewed in terms of job satisfaction, but this often fails to clarify employees’ level of work motivation or sense of organizational commitment.

So what is job satisfaction? Many surveys miss the real drivers of motivation at work, which include a sense of shared purpose, meaningful work, and support for personal development.

"Whilst traditional measures of ‘job satisfaction’ or ‘employee satisfaction’ may show a decrease after marriage or parenthood, the latest employee engagement surveys, which focus on motivation and commitment, may well tell a different story."