The Connection Between Self-Esteem and Job Satisfaction

Previous research has shown that core self-evaluation – an umbrella term that includes self-esteem, self-efficacy, locus of control, and emotional stability – predicts job satisfaction. Simply put, if employees think highly of themselves, they tend to be satisfied with their jobs. Furthermore, researchers found that if employees feel good about themselves and have success at work, they are even more satisfied with their jobs.

In contrast, if employees feel bad about themselves and have failures at work, they think even less of their jobs. This is important for employers to be aware of, as failures at work could have much more negative impact on those employees with lower self-esteem or confidence. In addition, how the manager responds to the failure may further exacerbate the issue (e.g., “How could you do such a thing?”), or start to turn things around (e.g., “Learning is an important part of development, so let’s see what we learned and how we can get this right next time”). The right type of intervention may be a means of improving job satisfaction, and ultimately job performance.