Tag Archives: Life Satisfaction

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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The Job Satisfaction Crisis Part 1: 10 Happiest Jobs

I have written before about taking stock of job satisfaction with the start of the New Year, suggesting that it just might be time to think about making a change.  As one colleague pointed out to me recently – job satisfaction is, after all, a relative thing.

He was right, and so I started to do some research about the BEST and MOST HATED jobs in the hope it may help you think about your “relative happiness.”

I came across two interesting pieces. One is from the Christian Science Monitor, about The 10 Happiest Jobs, and the other in Fortune Magazine called Think Your Job is Bad, Try One of These.

The types of “happy” work outlined in the Christian Science Monitor piece were based on research conducted by University of Chicago’s National Organization for Research.

According to the Deloitte Shift Index study, only 1 in 5 American workers say they are fully engaged in their work.  So, it’s not hard to imagine there are people who don’t like their jobs.

So what were the 10 Happiest Jobs?

1.  Clergy: Experts say that social interaction increases job satisfaction.  That may help explain why Clergy topped the list.

2. Firefighters: Eighty percent of firefighters claimed they are “very satisfied” with their jobs, which also involves helping people in meaningful ways.

3. Physical therapists: Social interaction and helping people apparently make this job one of the happiest.  (Are you starting to see a trend?)

4Authors: This one seems more intriguing. It can’t be due to the pay.  For most authors, the pay is ridiculously low or non-existent, but perhaps it is related to the autonomy they have and the satisfaction of writing down the contents of your own mind?

5.  Special education teachers:  The annual salary of most special education teachers is less than $50K per year.   But if you have the emotional stamina, Special ed teachers I know find a great deal of satisfaction in their work.

6. Teachers: Teachers in general also report being happy with their jobs (I wonder if that applies to college professors as well?).  I suppose that despite the current issues with education funding and classroom conditions, education still attracts many young idealists, although studies show that fifty percent of new teachers are gone within five years.

7. Artists: Sculptors and painters report high job satisfaction, despite the great difficulty in making a living from it. Well suited to those who cherish their autonomy.

8. Psychologists: Seems hard to imagine how listening to other people’s problems all day wouldn’t be trying, but apparently the idea of helping others has its benefits.

9. Financial services sales agents:  This seems unlike the list so far, but sixty-five percent of financial services sales agents are reported to be happy with their jobs.  Perhaps it is because some of them are clearing more than $90,000 dollars a year on average for a 40-hour work week in a comfortable office environment?

 10. Operating engineers: If I could start a new career now, the idea of playing with giant toys like bulldozers and front-end loaders would be both fun, and bring with it a sense of power!    Right, guys?

Are there some themes that seem to tie most of these jobs together?  We will consider this question in Part 2 of this series when we look at the 10 Most Hated Jobs.


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