Who Said You Had a Right to be Happy (at work)?

by SixFigureStart | January 06, 2010

  • My Vault
"Even Americans who are lucky enough to have work in this economy are becoming more unhappy with their jobs, according to a new survey that found only 45% of Americans are satisfied with their work."

The news that job satisfaction levels have dropped to their lowest levels in 22 years hasn't been difficult to find on the internet in the last couple (see, for example, the TIME piece quoted above). What has been missing in much of the coverage, however, is a sense of perspective. Not many people seem to be asking two key questions that the group that conducted the research—the Conference Board research group—also might have posed to their subjects:

Tiger Woods dejected1. Is anyone surprised that the numbers are so high when people are taking or holding jobs—any jobs—just to keep the lights on?

2. With many employees expected to work longer and harder to cover work that used to be done by colleagues, how much dissatisfaction figure is related to the economy hitting home at work?

With those questions in mind, it seems like it would be better to know how people's opinions of their jobs have changed in the past couple of years rather than simply knowing whether right now they're happy or unhappy in their careers.

Either that, or the researchers might like to consider adding a follow-up question tor people who claim they don't like their jobs:

  • Would you rather stick it out or take 3 month's severance to try and find a new position?

One suspects the stats on that question would trend higher towards sticking it out than they might have a few years ago. What do you think? Drop us a line in the comment field, or hit us with an @reply on Twitter.

--Posted by Phil Stott, Vault.com

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