The Job Satisfaction Crisis Part 2: 10 Most Hated Jobs


In my last post we looked at some of the highest satisfaction-producing jobs around.  Clergy, teacher, and firefighter topped the list.

So then, which jobs round out the bottom of the list?

The 10 Most Hated Jobs

1. Director of Information Technology:  While IT directors hold positions of great influence in many companies, they reported the highest level of dissatisfaction with their jobs. Why? “Nepotism, and disrespect from co-workers.”

2. Director of Sales and Marketing:  These people reported the second-highest level of job dissatisfaction, citing often “a lack of direction from upper management and an absence of room for growth”.

3. Product Manager: This next group complained of restricted career growth, and boring clerical work even at this level.

4. Senior Web Developer:  This is related to the same stressors as with IT directors with a high degree of unhappiness caused by their employer’s inability to communicate coherently, and their lack an understanding of the technology.

 5. Technical Specialist:   (People who work on the installation and maintenance of large infrastructures – like oil refineries) This group often feels they are treated with a “palpable disrespect”. Also, they say, their input is not taken seriously by senior management.

6. Electronics Technician:  These experts work in many industries (like the phone company), maintaining and troubleshooting our electronic systems.  They complain of having too little control, crushing work schedules, a lack of accomplishment, no real opportunity for growth, no motivation to work hard, no say in how things are done, and mutual hostility among peers.

7. Law Clerk: Clerkships are considered by many to be highly sought-after positions in the legal profession because they can really “beef-up” a resume. Yet law clerks feel their hours are long and grueling, and the work is subject to the whims of sometimes egotistical, selfish, and mercurial personalities.

8. Computer Technical Support Analyst: They may keep our laptops working even when WE are panicked and frazzled, but the job can get to you because the work is unpredictable and crises can appear without notice.  They too feel under-appreciated.

9. CNC Machinist: CNC machinists operate sophisticated machine tools. As the technology has advanced, some feel the job has been reduced to a lot of button pushing and maintenance, with little room for advancement.

10. Marketing Manager: Marketing managers often cited a lack of direction as the primary reason for job dissatisfaction.

Some Final Thoughts:

As you look at this list, you can see that even an education and higher level position does not always bring with it a sense of accomplishment that we hope comes when we pursue a career that we thought you would enjoy.  At all levels, being unappreciated, doing work that has no meeting, feeling unable to exert influence based on your own abilities, and not being heard — all seem to contribute to a lack of satisfaction in our work lives.

Conversely, having a sense of control and autonomy, and being able to achieve something you can be proud of – seems to help.

So, if you fall into the unappreciated and unhappy category, it may be time to do something about it, especially if your boss or company leadership is unable to.

And, if you are a boss, there is a lot you can do to listen to people, appreciate their contributions, and connect daily work with a purpose that has more meaning.

There is a difference between our JOB DUTIES and our JOB PURPOSE.   We all have stuff we need to do every day, whether it is to answer emails, or fix someone’s PC.     We all get that.   But, our Job Purpose is a different thing.  If you work at Disney, the PURPOSE is “to create happiness for families everywhere”, if you work for Wal-Mart, it is to “help people save money so they can live better lives”.  Our job as bosses is to help people see the relevance of their work in the context of the broader purpose, and to reinforce why WE think their work matters.

If we can’t creatively figure out how to make people feel their labors are worthwhile, they WILL become part of the 80% of workers Deloitte says are disengaged, looking elsewhere for personal satisfaction.  Wouldn’t you rather they found meaning through efforts that resulted in higher quality, better customer satisfaction and higher productivity?

And another question: think of your least enjoyable job to date — why did you find it so unsatisfying?

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