Major life changing events may have a negative effect regarding a woman's job satisfaction.

According to researchers at the Kingston University Business School, people are considerably less happy at work for up to five years after the birth of their first child.

In a study that observed 10,000 people in the United Kingdom between 1991 and 2008, happiness at work peaked prior to marriage and the birth the first child, which are life changing events. It was discovered more women suffered from dissatisfaction at work, especially if they worked in the public sector, compared to men.

According to professor Yannis Georgellis, report author, from the Director of the Centre for Research in Employment, Skills and Society at Kingston Business School, how one feels about his or her job is determined by external factors. Prior to these life changing events there may be an increased fulfillment at work due to the “spillover” effect, which suggests if one is happy at home then in turn one would be happy at work.

The observations propose the birth of a first child has a significant and long-lasting effect on how employees feel about their jobs. Due to these new discoveries, professor Georgellis suggest the UK consider more generous maternity leave. In some countries, there are generous maternity provisions and the positions are held open for people. Georgellis noted Sweden allots parents 480 days per child, and fathers must take 60 days off which can be taken any time until the child is eight-years-old.

The study also points of the higher the income of employees there is a more positive and significant effect on job fulfillment. Still the women who were not satisfied included those who worked in the public sector. Implying women who worked this specific career field are motivated more by nonfinancial rewards.

Also, long hours has a negative effect on job satisfaction, specifically in the private sector. Employees who had recently changed their job reported higher levels of fulfillment.

This study was published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior.