THE BLOG
01/10/2010 06:35 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Economy NOT to Blame for Job Dissatisfaction

Jeannine Aversa with the Associated Press reported last week that Americans' job satisfaction falls to record low and claims the recession is to blame. Of course American workers don't have job satisfaction; just like when you take a toy from a child they become disappointed, the American worker is dissatisfied because they have had their credit cards, home equity, and easy promotions taken from them. And the immediate response is disappointment. The recession is NOT to blame, recessions happen as part of economic cycles.

The American worker can't get 'no' job satisfaction and the recession is the supposed culprit. Sorry, the recession is the wrong target, and just another excuse people tie to their dissatisfaction. There is much more personal responsibility at play here that was obviously not included in the survey's questions. The American worker is being forced to face reality for the first time in many years. The fantasy economy is over, the days of just sticking around and your job is secure, pay raises and your tenure gets you promoted is over. The 'toys' of the American worker have been taken away and they are disappointed.

Job advancement, unlike years ago does not take place during contractions. Demotions, pay cuts and layoffs become the new reality. At first look and without any deeper questioning you could certainly say the recession is to blame but what has really happened is the game changed. Today you must produce revenue in order to advance. And when confronted with this issue (the new game) you will find people insecure. The next response for most will be to become dissatisfied with their job. At a deeper more critical issue what is happening is the individual realizes they they don't know how to succeed at the new game. The American worker is having to confront their skills and rather than just taking responsibility they look for someone or something to blame. Reports like the Associated Press's only provide more reasons for people to feel sorry for themselves. Big, bad recession becomes everyone's reason why they are having tough times. From my book Sell to Survive,Blame is the energy that makes slaves!

Anytime a person can't play and win they have one of two responses;
(1) become disappointed and withdraw from the game,
(2) dig in and learn how to win.

Anyone that can win at a game never chooses disappointed as a response and is inspired by the challenges of the game and can't wait to play. When the hope of winning is removed people respond with disappointment. The current lack of satisfaction is about not knowing how to play the game successfully. Having to confront the hard facts after decades of having to confront nothing is painful. The American worker is not equipped in their current state to move the company they work for down the revenue field. And revenue is the score keeper of the game now!

A new survey shows that the American worker is at the lowest level of satisfaction ever recorded in more than 22 years of studying the issue. And where were we 22 years ago, 1988. Following the second largest stock market crash in history, 1987, erasing fantasy profits for lot of people and setting up for a recession.

Worker dissatisfaction has been on the rise for more than two decades. There have also been more entitlement over that same period. Is there any chance that the more people are entitled, (given) the more dissatisfied they become. The American worker believes they are owed increased wages, vacations, sick days, promotions and other benefits. Well maybe you were, but no matter, all that you believe you are owed is gone now and the only thing that will advance someone today is creativity, persistence and hard work.

If the American worker is to be happy and secure in their job they will have to take full responsibility for creating revenue and solutions for their company! Security comes from a person knowing that are able to overcome any challenge and contribute in greater amounts than they take. The American Worker has become lazy, unproductive and addicted to the easy way out and entitlements and it has only made him less able. It is at challenging moments like these that exceptional people are made because they wake up and are inspired to pick themselves up and accomplish new things for themselves. Wake up America and pull yourself from disappointment and restore your work ethic, your creativity and that 'can-do' attitude that is part of all Americans.

Grant Cardone, Author of Sell to Survive and Corporate Sales Trainer