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Job "Satisfaction'
Old 08-30-2012, 08:02 AM   #1
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Job "Satisfaction'

I've always questioned the many surveys that conclude most Americans are happy with their jobs. It contradicts just about everything I've ever witnessed.

Here's a survery that probably comes closer to the truth:

Most Americans Not Happy at Work: Yahoo! Finance/Parade Survey | Daily Ticker - Yahoo! Finance

Quote:
It's not just the jobs like those at McDonald's that's upsetting America workers, says Aaron Task of The Daily Ticker. "There are also people working white collar jobs…. and feeling like they're just on a treadmill, not getting anywhere."
Gee, ya think?

You can take the poll yourself here, though I've probably biased you.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:34 AM   #2
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We do need a poll to know how people at an early retirement forum feel/felt about work...

The solid middle class jobs aren't nearly as plentiful as they once were, I'm sure that hasn't helped. And individuals personal expectations are probably higher than ever, so expectations and opportunities are even further apart than even a generation ago. I worked with too many people who couldn't understand why they weren't being promoted, even though they lacked the credentials and work standards to be promotable.

Though there are certainly examples, I thought it was nonsense curious that office politics was rated so highly, more emotion than fact I suspect. More often than not, initiative and hard work were still the most important when I left not long ago...
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:41 AM   #3
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I don't ever recall seeing a survey where the majority of people are happy with their jobs. Most are just happy to have a job but IIRC the dislikes are the majority.
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:24 AM   #4
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Though there are certainly examples, I thought it was nonsense curious that office politics was rated so highly, more emotion than fact I suspect. More often than not, initiative and hard work were still the most important when I left not long ago...
Of the many places I have worked, I can think of exactly one where getting ahead was only about ability and hard work were what got you ahead. Everywhere else (including my current place of funployment) was more about politics than anything else.
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:33 AM   #5
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I loved my job with mega pharma for the first 20 years. But, after being bought out/merged with another even larger pharma company the last 8 years of my career were pretty miserable. I consider myself lucky. I had a great career where the majority of time was fulfilling. Most of my friends during this period of time hated their jobs all the way through. Most of them are still working also.....
It seems like most companies are less employee focused now and the bottom line is king. I worry about my kids future job experiences.

I could not be happier to be out of that mess - is today Saturday? Feels like it!
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:57 AM   #6
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I am finally satisfied with my job now that I don't have to go there.
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:04 AM   #7
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The survey didn't have details about respondents' retirement savings but found that 53 percent of workers had just three months worth of savings to tide them over if they lost their jobs tomorrow. Another 15 percent had enough savings to last four to six months. Perhaps that's why more than half said they would choose a 5 percent raise over two weeks more of vacation.
Scary that over two thirds of people have six months of reserves or less.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:34 PM   #8
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During 21 years with the USAF, I had high job satisfaction for about 17 (not concurrent). On the whole, I guess that gave me an 81% success rate, which is certainly nothing to sneeze at.

I may be kidding myself, but I think most of the ex-military types I know would say something similar, in hindsight.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:38 PM   #9
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People have pretty much always thought their jobs sucked, but in my experience to date (25 years in industry) it's never been worse.

People are more overworked and burned out than ever. As companies aggressively strip out any costs remotely viewed as "redundancies" it creates potential "single point failures" of a lot of employees -- a single person who is the only one who knows how to perform an important function (or who has authority and/or access rights to do it).

These people are effectively on-call 24x365. They aren't allowed to spend nights, weekends or even vacation time without their cell phones or checking their office e-mail regularly. And when they do return from vacation, they have to work twice as hard until they have caught up -- because work is no longer reassigned (there's not enough people to do that and those who are left are already overworked), it just piles up on your desk until you get back and work to catch up on all of it. In that sense it's not vacation, but an advance on future "comp time".

Employers are all too happy to exploit this terrible job market and use fear of pink slips to impose working conditions which would have been unthinkable and "sweatshop" like 20-30 years ago. More work. Longer hours. NO "lfe" in the work-life balance. And in the process, watered down benefits and frozen pay for many years.

Everything, and I mean *everything*, is "urgent" and extremely time critical. It's as if a business that has survived for decades will go under if executives don't have that shiny new TPS Report on their desk within 5 minutes. I get an obscene number of e-mails from people working late nights and weekends (and I mean late night in their time zone, like 11 PM from folks in the US or 6 PM from someone in Europe). And these people do it regularly. Please get me off this hamster wheel.

I am beyond burned out. The stress of such an business environment is slowly killing me, I can absolutely feel it. At this rate I feel like I'll be dead by 55 if I stuck with it that long.
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:15 PM   #10
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Ziggy, I am staring down the barrel of the person I work hand in hand with possibly moving on for greener pastures in the next few months. I am happy for him, but if/when it happens I will be screwed because there is nobody to take his place. No real succession plan, no fat in the staffing and we don't pay well enough to really hire the right person to replace him (hence his plan to bail).
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Though there are certainly examples, I thought it was nonsense curious that office politics was rated so highly, more emotion than fact I suspect. More often than not, initiative and hard work were still the most important when I left not long ago...
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Of the many places I have worked, I can think of exactly one where getting ahead was only about ability and hard work were what got you ahead. Everywhere else (including my current place of funployment) was more about politics than anything else.
I don't doubt your experience or any other poster here, I guess I was lucky in my career. While politics were certainly a factor, indeed central at times, initiative and hard work prevailed more often than not.

And while I won't pretend all my (still working) friends love their jobs, none of them hate their jobs either. None of them harp on retiring, and some are FI or close. They all have bad days/moments but most of them take satisfaction in their work and work relationships, beyond being grateful to have a job. I know I have to keep in mind that's not going to be the norm on an early retirement forum, 'hating work' will be reinforced here more often than not by definition. I wish those here who have/had a bad work experience, could experience a more rewarding work environment...
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
It's as if a business that has survived for decades will go under if executives don't have that shiny new TPS Report on their desk within 5 minutes.
Trying ... to be ... positive ... but can't ... help ... myself ...

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Old 08-30-2012, 03:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
People have pretty much always thought their jobs sucked, but in my experience to date (25 years in industry) it's never been worse.

People are more overworked and burned out than ever. As companies aggressively strip out any costs remotely viewed as "redundancies" it creates potential "single point failures" of a lot of employees -- a single person who is the only one who knows how to perform an important function (or who has authority and/or access rights to do it).

These people are effectively on-call 24x365. They aren't allowed to spend nights, weekends or even vacation time without their cell phones or checking their office e-mail regularly. And when they do return from vacation, they have to work twice as hard until they have caught up -- because work is no longer reassigned (there's not enough people to do that and those who are left are already overworked), it just piles up on your desk until you get back and work to catch up on all of it. In that sense it's not vacation, but an advance on future "comp time".

Employers are all too happy to exploit this terrible job market and use fear of pink slips to impose working conditions which would have been unthinkable and "sweatshop" like 20-30 years ago. More work. Longer hours. NO "lfe" in the work-life balance. And in the process, watered down benefits and frozen pay for many years.

Everything, and I mean *everything*, is "urgent" and extremely time critical. It's as if a business that has survived for decades will go under if executives don't have that shiny new TPS Report on their desk within 5 minutes. I get an obscene number of e-mails from people working late nights and weekends (and I mean late night in their time zone, like 11 PM from folks in the US or 6 PM from someone in Europe). And these people do it regularly. Please get me off this hamster wheel.

I am beyond burned out. The stress of such an business environment is slowly killing me, I can absolutely feel it. At this rate I feel like I'll be dead by 55 if I stuck with it that long.
Excellent description of today's corporate working environment.
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:56 PM   #14
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I don't doubt your experience or any other poster here, I guess I was lucky in my career. While politics were certainly a factor, indeed central at times, initiative and hard work prevailed more often than not.

And while I won't pretend all my (still working) friends love their jobs, none of them hate their jobs either. None of them harp on retiring, and some are FI or close. They all have bad days/moments but most of them take satisfaction in their work and work relationships, beyond being grateful to have a job. I know I have to keep in mind that's not going to be the norm on an early retirement forum, 'hating work' will be reinforced here more often than not by definition. I wish those here who have/had a bad work experience, could experience a more rewarding work environment...
You were either very lucky or remarkably well politically connected in your workplace (or both).
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:57 PM   #15
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Could be worse...

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We all know business has not been great these last few years. After a careful review, we have decided to make some strategic changes in the next few months. To ensure we have the right people and skills in place to execute on these new strategies, all staff who wish to continue working here at ACME will be required to re-apply and interview for current and new positions that will be created. Additional details on this process will be forthcoming, but in the interim, please send a current resume to Corporate Human Resources by the close of business tomorrow.

Have a nice day.
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:13 PM   #16
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You were either very lucky or remarkably well politically connected in your workplace (or both).
Like those are the only two possibilities...more nonsense.
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:18 PM   #17
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I am finally satisfied with my job now that I don't have to go there.
This! I just *know* this is you're favorite version of Satisfaction....

(PS: 60s girl band appreciation night has ended )

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Old 08-30-2012, 04:42 PM   #18
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Like those are the only two possibilities...more nonsense.
Well, there are other possibilities, of course. Please credit me with some imagination, at least. For example, you could have slept your way up the chain. Or oerhaps you had incriminating pictures of your superiors with farm animals. Or...

I'm sorry it offends you that some of us don't have as much fun working as you seem to have.
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:53 PM   #19
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I'm sorry it offends you that some of us don't have as much fun working as you seem to have.
I guess I'd say I used to have an experience that was something different, something that more closely resembled a meritocracy. Having said that, I don't think my current work environment is particularly political, either. It's just that the new definition of "merit" now includes not only basic competence and production, but a willingness to show you are willing to throw your family and your personal life under the bus for the benefit of the almighty corporation. "Merit" in today's world means being a mediocre performer for 70 hours a week is more highly valued than being a very highly productive performer for 40. "Merit" in today's world means anyone on salary thinking they can get away with only 40 hours a week is a slacker who is stealing from the company -- even if they are exceptional for the 40 hours they are on the job.

It only get political where I am if you want to be management. And I have less than no desire to be a manager, so I don't have to play those games at least.

My beef isn't politics, it's the combination of increasingly unreasonable expectations and shrinking real pay -- work harder and harder for less and less real compensation. I'll bet if you factored in inflation AND hours worked, my inflation-adjusted cash compensation per hour is probably about 25% less than it was in 2006. It's mostly a situation of a few higher-ups expecting more and more hours from fewer and fewer people with lower and lower inflation-adjusted pay -- all under the guise of "feel lucky you have a job at all".

No, I will feel truly lucky when I no longer need it.
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:02 PM   #20
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I guess I'd say I used to have an experience that was something different, something that more closely resembled a meritocracy. Having said that, I don't think my current work environment is particularly political, either. It's just that the new definition of "merit" now includes not only basic competence and production, but a willingness to show you are willing to throw your family and your personal life under the bus for the benefit of the almighty corporation. "Merit" in today's world means being a mediocre performer for 70 hours a week is more highly valued than a highly productive performer for 40. "Merit" in today's world means anyone on salary thinking they can get away with only 40 hours a week is a slacker who is stealing from the company.

My beef isn't politics, it's the combination of increasingly unreasonable expectations and shrinking real pay -- work harder and harder for less and less real compensation. It's mostly a situation of a few higher-ups expecting more and more hours from fewer and fewer people with lower and lower inflation-adjusted pay -- all under the guise of "feel lucky you have a job at all".

No, I will feel truly lucky when I no longer need it.
This stuck a chord with me Zig. Particulary the part about being willing to throw your personal life and family under the bus. That was exactly what I struggled so hard to get away from. I hope you get there soon.
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