All Articles Tagged "job satisfaction"

The Unsatisfied Generation: Most Young Workers Unhappy With Their Jobs

October 29th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Twenty-somethings are having a hard go of it on the career front. According to a new study, most workers in their 20s are unsatisfied with their jobs, but according to the Associated Press (AP) all they have to do is “just wait.”

A new AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs survey found that 9 out of 10 workers aged 50 or older said they’re somewhat or totally satisfied in their jobs, but a large share of young people are  unhappy. Many millenials are starting their careers in a field in which they feel overqualified and don’t want to work, according to a report earlier this year from McKinsey on Society. In fact, nearly half of graduates from four-year colleges are in jobs that don’t require a four-year degree. Because of this, it’s taking young workers a lot longer than their baby boomer counterparts to earn as much money. As the Huffington Post reports, “In 1980 the average worker earned the median wage by the time they were 26, according to a September study from Georgetown University researchers. Now that average age for that achievement is 30.”

Of course this also means young Americans are building wealth at a slower pace relative to their older counterparts. “Older Americans had 44 times as much wealth as younger Americans in 2009, up from 13 times as much in 1984,” reports HuffPo. On top of all of this, while young people are finding it hard to land a decent-paying job in their field, they’re being overwhelmed in record numbers by student loan debt.

So how long will young people have to wait to be satisfied with their career? The Huffington Post says it may take them up to more than 30 years.

No wonder 20-somethings are unhappy.

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Ditching The Cubicles Only Decreases Worker Productivity And Satisfaction, Study Finds

July 3rd, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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The interior design of many U.S. offices encourages the placement of employees that’s too close for comfort. Nearly 70 percent of American workers are forced to function in open-plan offices — a concept that eliminates barriers between people. However, this floor plan has proven to be nothing but fruitless and unproductive, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

Slaving away in a small booth for hours seems torturous, but discarding the cubicles is making workers feel distracted and cramped. The design promotes office-wide cooperation but also coerces workers to constantly interact with each other. “When focus is compromised in pursuit of collaboration, neither works well,” a new study conducted by Gensler, a design firm, found.

The weakened motivation, diminishing job satisfaction, and little privacy that plague open-plan designs are the central reasons behind its ineffectiveness, according to a meta-analysis conducted by Tonya Smith-Jackson and Katherine Klein.

In a more congested environment, it’s not just distractions that spread. Bacteria can easily wiggle and glide from worker-to-worker. According to Quartz, one study found that employees that worked in open-office models reported 62 percent more sick days than workers in closed-off layouts.

Another study discovered that employees found conversations, phone rings, and machines to be the most bothersome, added Quartz. “When the phone or a desk mate just won’t stay quiet, workers need a retreat where they can focus,” said Janet Pogue, head of Gensler’s workplace design. Open-plan offices can easily sidetrack employees from their work; Pogue suggests allowing private rooms to be accessible to workers who need some peace and quiet.

Getting rid of the barriers that exemplify the traditional cubicle office is unnecessary to encourage interaction. To promote a friendly workplace aura, Bloomberg says to create a copy room instead of giving every employee his or her own printer. In this way, there is some small banter and chitchat before they go back to their own office space and resume their work.

Bloomberg adds that the key to increasing worker productivity and satisfaction is to designate areas in the office for socializing, learning, and work. “…[W]hen it’s time to do some hardcore collaborating or learning, moving to a different environment can help them shift gears,” it says.

The Gensler study was an online survey that recruited 2,035 office workers.

10 Signs You Are In The Wrong Job

May 8th, 2013 - By Tanvier Peart
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Have you ever noticed how excited your co-workers become once they get to work? You were once one of those happy employees who had so much excitement to start the day. Yet as time went on, you find it more difficult to get through your nine-to-five routine, let alone be content you are there. If you ever find yourself rolling your eyes or feeling more hate than love for your job, it might be time to consider new alternatives.

Life can give us so many reasons why a job is no longer a good fit. If you have been struggling to demystify your emotions, here are ten signs you are in the wrong career.

Are You Happy With Your Job? New Survey Reveals The Most–And Least–Satisfied Professions

March 26th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Are you satisfied with your job? If you’re not, it can affect your health, happiness, and stress levels found a recent Gallup poll. The 2012 results of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, listed the most—and least—satisfied professions.

Gallup-Healthways asked more than 170,000 workers a series of 55 questions covering physical and emotional health, life evaluation and workplace environment. Using a score between 0 and 100 (ideal well-being) to each of 14 major professional categories.

According to the results, physicians had the highest level of well-being of any major profession, while transportation workers, including drivers, pilots, flight attendants and air traffic controllers, had the lowest. Teachers surprisingly ranked only behind physicians for well-being. Because they tend to be good eaters, their obesity, while too high, is still below the national average, and they have good workplace well-being.

Each question had some impact on the profession’s final well-being score, reports 24/7 Wall St., certain measures highly contribute to workers’ health. Among the factors include regular exercise, not smoking, learning something new every day, and being treated well by their employers.

Dan Witters, research director for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, explained to 24/7 Wall St. that the professions with high levels of obesity and related conditions like heart attacks and chronic physical pain were more likely to have much lower overall well-being. Just 14 percent of physicians, for example, were considered obese, versus the more than 37 percent of transportation workers.

Those in the most satisfied professions also had health insurance coverage. Nearly all physicians surveyed (97 percent) reported having health insurance (naturally), while only 77 percent of transportation workers had coverage, reports the website. According to Witters, that health insurance, besides making people more likely to receive treatment they need, “has a lot of influence on the proactive nature of which people tend to their health.”

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 14 professional categories surveyed by the Gallup-Healthway’s Well-Being Index in 2012 and ranked the most and lest satisfied professions.

The top three most satisfied professions

1.   Physician

Job types: Internist, obstetrician, anesthesiologist
Well-being index score: 78.0
Obesity: 86.0%
Percentage (Pct.) with health insurance: 96.7%
Pct. satisfied with job: 95.5%

Physicians were by far the most likely professionals to be described by Gallup as “thriving,” reports 24/7 Wall St. They were also less likely than any other workers to have felt sad or angry in the past day, and the most likely to have the energy needed to be productive. Another aspect that factored into their well being was salary. Physicians are usually well-paid. Primary care physicians earned a median annual salary of more than $200,000, while for those with medical specialties the figure exceeded $350,000, according to the Medical Group Management Association.

2. Teacher
Job types: High school, special education teacher, teacher assistants
Well-being index score: 73.6
Obesity: 79.4%
Pct. with health insurance: 95.7%
Pct. satisfied with job: 91.1%

Nearly 70% of teachers qualifying as “thriving.” According to the data, teachers were also the most likely workers to report they smiled or laughed, experienced enjoyment or experienced happiness within the past day. And teachers also regularly practiced healthy behaviors. Just under 6% smoked, which is actually less than only physicians. And more than 64% ate at least five servings of fruits and vegetables at least four days a week, second only to nurses.  The median pay for “education, training and library occupations” was just over $45,000 in 2010, according to the BLS.

3. Business Owners
Job types: Contractor, store owner, entrepreneur
Well-being index score: 73.4
Obesity: 79.5%
Pct. with health insurance: 77.6%
Pct. satisfied with job: 93.3%

Business owners are more likely than any other class of workers to rate their work environment highly. Over 93% of business owners said they were satisfied with their job or the work they did, higher than any occupation except for physician. Additionally, nearly 89% of business owners reported their work environment was trusting and open — by far the highest of any type of worker. According to the BLS, as of February there were almost 14.5 million self-employed workers, down from nearly 15.9 million five years prior.

Top three least satisfied professions were installation or repair workers like mechanics, linesmen, and maintenance workers, who report health issues like smoking and have a median pay of just under $34,000; workers in manufacturing areas like line workers, who reported unsatisfactory treatment from supervisors and low pay (just under $24,000 in 2010); and those in transportation like bus drivers and flight attendance, many of whom have low pay (some are paid well) and high stress.

Defense Department to Lift Ban on Women In Combat, Opening Doors for Military Advancement

January 24th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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Army Maj. Sequana Robinson. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Army Maj. Sequana Robinson. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

In one of his last moves as Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta is planning to announce today a lift to the ban on women in combat roles. According to The Washington Post, the Army and Marines “will present plans to open most jobs to women by May 15.” Right now, the Army, which has the largest number of people in combat positions, excludes women from 25 percent of roles.

“The decision comes after a decade of counterinsurgency missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, where women demonstrated heroism on battlefields with no front lines,” the newspaper writes. Nevertheless, there are those opponents who say that male-female attraction would be an unwelcome side effect of greater female inclusion. There are also concerns about a woman’s ability to keep up with the physical nature of the job. I tend to agree with retired Col. Jack Jacobs who spoke with TODAY show’s Matt Lauer this morning:

When people are trying ardently to kill you, it really doesn’t matter to you who is on to the left and on your right as long as they’re doing their job. We fight to accomplish the mission. We fight for the country, but most of all, we fight for each other.”

Women have slowly been assuming greater roles in the military in the 25 years or so that they’ve been allowed to enlist. Women comprise about 14 percent of total active-duty military, according to Defense Department numbers reported by The Post, and 152 female members have died in Afghanistan and Iraq. About 238,000 positions will now be open to women.

According to another Washington Post article, a study of 30,000 active-duty military members found that African-American women were the most satisfied with their jobs of any other demographic. African-American men were the second most content. Hispanic women and men, in that order, were the next two. The least satisfied were white men.

“For women, pay and job benefits are more equal in the military than in the civilian labor,” Jennifer Hickes Lundquist, the University of Massachusetts researcher who worked on the study tells the newspaper.

“A more fair playing field, at least at lower military ranks, would be a boost for minorities and women. It would also be a potential drawback for white males,” the article continues. Some have said that, with this barrier broken, issues of gender discrimination and assault will be diminished.

Military women across the board will be pleased with the move, although it’s unclear how many women will jump at the chance and it will be at least a couple of years before women actually occupy the new available positions.

Because black women are so satisfied with their military service, it stands to reason that they will be enthusiastic about the chance to advance their careers. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who lost her legs serving as a combat pilot in Iraq, told NBC Nightly News, “It’s hard to make it to a general without a combat arms command at the brigade or the battalion level. And this will now allow women to have some of that command time.”

New Year’s Isn’t Only About Change: Love The Job You Have

January 9th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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While many of the New Year’s resolutions out there focus on things to change, there’s also something to be said for making what you have better. That includes your job. Sometimes it’s not a matter of finding a new company, but making the situation at the one you’re with better.

Black Enterprise takes a look at three things that you can do to improve your current job situation.

“Take some time to really reflect on what you do for a living. Do you have a meaningful job? Are you doing something fulfilling?” the story says. Both very important questions. There is also some forward-thinking included in the story. After all, you have to make the most of the present to set yourself up for something good in the future.

For more detail about making the most of your current job, click here to visit BlackEnterprise.com.

What Money Can´t Buy: Study Finds Small Business Owners Happiest — Successful or Not

October 3rd, 2012 - By Ann Brown
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Starting a new business can be frustrating, stressful and taxing. But  believe it or not, according to  a new study, entrepreneurs are the happiest — whether their business is a success or a failure.

The  study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business surveyed 11,000 graduates of the school’s MBA program, who were asked to rate their happiness with their career overall, their current job and their work-life balance, small business owners. About 20 percent of the graduates started their own businesses.

Although the study did find the more money someone earned, the happier they were, it also discovered “the role entrepreneurship played in a person’s overall career satisfaction,” reports The Street. “If money really was the key to happiness, you would expect the high-level execs at financial firms to rate themselves as happiest. But that wasn’t the case. Grads running their own businesses ranked themselves happier than all other professions, regardless of how much money they made.”  Only 56 percent of  the Wharton grads who started their own businesses actually made a profit.

The entrepreneurs in the study also felt they had more control over their time—even if they worked endless hours getting their business off the ground. “Grads running their own businesses also rated themselves higher than any other profession when it came to work-life balance,” writes The Street. “An entrepreneur can choose to take a break to attend a daughter’s soccer game or son’s school play, even if that means working late into the night afterward.”

Job Got You Down? It Might Be Time to Go

August 13th, 2012 - By Tonya Garcia
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The decision to leave your job is a tremendous one. If you’ve worked for a company for even a couple of years, you’ve developed an intimate knowledge about the company, gotten to know your co-workers and accrued a nice chunk of vacation time. Ugh. That would be hard to give up.

But sometimes, the cons really do outweigh the pros of sticking with a job. The Daily Muse has laid out six reasons why it might be time for you to call it quits. Literally.

Right at the top of the list is being underpaid. You have a job to make a living and if that’s not happening, then you need to be elsewhere. (A side gig will help too.) Also on the list, being undervalued, not getting the resources you need to do a good job, and simply outgrowing the position.

Given the economic recession, we want to call special attention to number three: “The Ship is Sinking.” If you work for a public company, which is required to file a quarterly earnings report, your company may give you a heads up when this information is available. Do yourself a favor and read those press releases. These documents give you hard numbers about the company’s revenue, its vision, and its plans for the future. Unlike a company pep rally where the message is always “everything is great,” here is where you get the real deal. If you don’t get these documents sent to your inbox, you can easily find it online.

If you work for a private company, you probably won’t receive a regular notice about the state of the company’s affairs, but alert. Are people leaving the company without being replaced? Are you noticing cutbacks all over the place? Are business plans being put on hold? These are indications that things are either in flux or heading downhill. If the business is doing well, a company leader will crow about it. When times are tough, it’s more likely they’ll go silent.

And speaking of the future, that’s another critical theme of this list. Besides your level of happiness now, which should be a consideration, you should be thinking of how your job is preparing you for the future whether that future is with this company or the next. Your job should be giving you as much as you’re giving it. If it’s not, then it’s time to take your talents elsewhere.

Quitting Time: One-Third of Workers Are Ready

June 21st, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Wall Street Journal) — Employers could soon see a major slowdown in productivity, new research suggests.  Thirty-two percent of U.S. workers say they are seriously considering leaving their employers, according to a survey released Monday by Mercer LLC, a global consulting company. Mostly young workers — 40% of employees ages 25 to 34 and 44% of those 24 and younger — have one foot out the door. The survey was conducted at the end of 2010 on Mercer’s behalf by research firm Toluna, which polled more than 2,400 U.S. workers nationwide. While respondents hail from employers of various sizes – the smallest with between 100 and 199 workers and the largest with 5,000 or more — the findings could prove particularly troublesome for small-business owners. Their workforces are normally limited in size, and the weak economy has forced many in recent years to downsize to even lower levels.

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Is the Corporate Grind Really Worth It?

June 17th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Black Enterprise) — Call it a dream to work from home in your PJs, choose your income, your hours, and plan working vacations. But the reality is roughly 27 million professionals in North America are working freelancers. With job satisfaction at a 22-year low, freelance work–including writing, blogging, consulting, graphic designing, etc. — has increasingly been pursued by a variety of professionals. Some freelancers have lost their jobs due to the recession and are redirecting their careers while others planned their escape to seek a greater work-life balance, more independence, and flexibility.

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