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What do you desire from your job?

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I was reading a very interesting survey result.  This particular survey is limited to white people:
What Whites Said About Work

Beginning in 1973, the GSS showed a card to the person being interviewed and asked, “Would you please look at this card and tell me which one thing on this list you would most prefer in a job?” The card had these choices:

* High income
* No danger of being fired
* Chances for advancement
* Working hours are short; lots of free time
* Work important and gives a feeling of accomplishment After the subject gave his first priority, the interviewer ascertained which were his second, third, fourth, and last priorities. The item was given in almost every survey from 1973 through 1994. Then the GSS dropped it for the next twelve years, perhaps because the answers had been so consistent. Among prime-age whites, the most popular first choice was always work that “gives a feeling of accomplishment,” getting an average of 58 percent of the votes in each decade. The two least-chosen first choices were always short work hours (averaging 4 percent) and no danger of being fired (6 percent). In 2006, the GSS resurrected the question, and the results were startling. The 58 percent that had always voted first place to work that “gives a feeling of accomplishment” was down to 43 percent. First-place votes for short working hours more than doubled to 9 percent. “No danger of being fired” doubled to 12 percent, with another 13 percent ranking it in second place.

There is no reason to think that the 2006 results were a fluke. Unusual economic troubles don’t explain them—the national unemployment rate stood at a low 4.6 percent and GDP growth was a healthy 6.1 percent. The results are not a function of something peculiar about the 30–49 age group; they persisted when I looked at older and younger respondents. Still, it’s just one survey, and I wish we had corroborating evidence of such large changes in other recent GSS surveys. So I will leave it at this: We can’t be sure, but it looks as if during the last half of the 1990s and the first half of the 2000s, whites by their own testimony became less interested in meaningful work and more interested in secure jobs with short working hours. Furthermore, these trends applied to both Belmont and Fishtown. This is not the way Tocqueville or Grund described the American attitude toward work. In fact, the responses in 2006 looked downright European.
--- End quote ---

Personally, I'd rate it...

1. No danger of being fired
2. Work important and gives a feeling of accomplishment
3. Working hours are short; lots of free time
4. High income
5. Chances for advancement

It's a bit of a tie whether to place #1 or #2 on the top, but they kinda go hand in hand - a job that you feel good about and no chance of getting fired? Wouldn't really need much more than that, as long as the pay was comfortable. Wouldn't have to be "drive a fancy car and buying new hardware whenever I want to" comfortable, but "can get new clothes before the old are threadbare, and don't need to save up for several months to afford a harddrive".

Also, #3 and #4 are a bit of a tie. Depends on the circumstances... but I'd definitely rather have a comfortable income at a 37h/week job than a 60h/week job and the ability to eat caviar and drink champagne every day.

#5 is utterly unimportant to me - if the job satisfies the other four conditions, why the heck would I need advancement? Then again, I'm not a power-hungry sociopath :-)


1. No danger of being fired *Or Laid off*
Since that just happened to me, the rest of it all doesn't matter anymore, does it? (Token Networking offer - any of you folks have jobs?)

2. Working hours are short; lots of free time
For me this is that burnout risks falling into #1, depending on the types of mistakes your particular personality slides into. I'm no Spring Phoenix anymore, and I could never do the 24-year-old workaholic gig anyway.

3. High income
Several levels here, it doesn't have to be 6 figures. But minimum wage is no fun at all either.

4. Chances for advancement
It doesn't mean you are a psycho for wanting to advance. In fact there is some evidence (I know, Citation Needed) that if you have the SAME job for a zillion years, it begins to look a little funny to certain potential employers in some company cultures. It's okay to want to become an Assistant Manager after a chunk of time doing the entry level job.

5. Work important and gives a feeling of accomplishment
Let's rule out "Stupid Work", along the Dilbert/Office Space lines. That's just abuse. I'm in various branches of accounting, I have no delusions that I am Saving Lives or Changing the World. On a good day work is ... just work, you Do Stuff, and then you go home. It's nice to have a spread of duties, so your life's work isn't setting tables for a caterer every day, but relatively speaking I'm no Type A either.

Then again, I'm not a power-hungry sociopath :-)
-f0dder (August 02, 2012, 06:17 PM)
--- End quote ---

Huh? What's wrong with you? Haven't you read the Forbes top people lists? Don't you want to be on it? They're the role models for the rest of us! We should all try to hurt and injure as many people as possible in the name of saving the children and curing cancer while we're stomping on our co-workers to get to the top! Remember, once you've crippled someone, they're not as easily able to compete against you! And if you can bamboozle people into thinking that your trampling on others is really good for the environment and will save baby seals, then all the better~! It's not just about who has the most toys when they die, it's about making sure that nobody else has any toys! :P

Ok. Silly mode over. :D Errr... maybe. We'll see. ;D

Now, how would I rate things for myself... Let's see...

#1 Show me the money.
#2 Show me the money.
#3 Show me the money.
#4 Show me the money.
#5 Show me the money.


Well, at the risk of sounding shallow... :P

But seriously -- If I'm going to work for someone else, then that's pretty much all that matters.

Advancement is an illusion for the most part.

Short working hours? Well, as long as I'm being well paid for the time I spend, then I'm fine with long hours. Long hours = more showing me the money. ;D

Danger of being fired/laid off? Well, this is a total illusion. Just ask people hit by "austerity". But while we're here, I'd like:

* A pet unicorn with wings that poops ice cream, farts gold, and burps word balloons that tell the world how wonderful I am
* 6,000 metric tonnes of rainbow in a can
* A couple light sabers
* And a Death Star just for good measure (in case I'm fired/laid off)

Hmmm... What next? Oh yeah. Job satisfaction. :D Nope. Not interested in the least in this. It's just a total lie for picky or unhappy people. I take pride in pretty much everything I do, I'm really in very little danger of this ever being an issue. Even when I'm just going damage control, I'm working to get things as good as possible. Things might not be perfect, but I can certainly be happy with taking something from 1 star to 3 stars. Even easy stuff is good. Heck, you can just feel good about yourself because something was very easy for you. :D <3


Job Satisfaction works like a Canary Server!
"I was not humiliated at work today."
"I was not humiliated at work today."
"I was not humiliated at work today."




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