Job Satisfaction

I know there has been a few threads on total compensation, job hunting, etc. and this has been touched on in those threads. Some of the most rewarding jobs also pay the least and have little to no fringe benefits (research vessels come to mind). I have talked to many different mariners from all walks of the industry about this and figured it could be a good forum discussion. How important is job satisfaction to you and what are the most important factors?

Interesting topic…for myself, job satisfaction would have to be the number 1 reason to accept, remain at, or quit from a job. To stay years in a job one finds “unsatisfying” is like a carnivore being fed a vegetarian diet. Having said that, there are many things that I feel make my job personally satisfying, I want to be appreciated (read: well compensated) for the work I do. I have worked long and hard in the industry I’m in and I want to be able to see an avenue of advancement based on my (and my company’s) performance. I want to know that the people I work with are competent and that the equipment I work with wont be a hazard to me or my shipmates.
I started out as a deckhand commercial fishing in Alsaka, so perhaps I was spoiled from the beginning, but I learned early early on that a good boat with a good skipper and a good crew unequivocally meant a good season…whether the fish were there or the price was fair.
Along the same lines of being appreciated is being valued…if a company values you they respect you. They listen to what you have to say. They don’t discount your time by calling you for a 30+ day trip on a couple days notice. I have left companies that I was initially very excited to work for when I found out how they treated (and compensated) their workers… big tug and barge companies…when I brought up legitimate personnel and safety issues, I was told “we don’t need you right now” every time I would call to get back out (my replacement broke his leg on the exact piece of equipment I had noted", by the time they got around to calling me again, I had already found a better job and simply told them, “I’m not available”.
While pay is certainly a big consideration, I can say in all honesty that some of my most satisfying positions on the water haven’t exactly been the best paying.