The Poll Results

Thanks everyone for participating in the first of many polls.  Part of what makes this whole blog process work is feedback and information from YOU.  So keep it up, and who knows where this thing may go…

The results are in, the poll is closed.  Just 25% of you have jobs that fit your style.  Good for you, I bet each day doesn’t really feel like work.  A smaller percentage (13%) are in jobs that do not fit, but since you have to eat you may have to tough it out.  Most of you (63%) feel that your job is “sort of” the right fit, with some parts you do not like.

I was asked to do a talk on Work/Life Balance a few months ago, and while preparing for that day, I came across an alarming piece of information:

“the Conference Board published results of a survey showing that 55% of American workers are dissatisfied with their jobs, the highest in 22 years.”

January 5, 2010 Daily Finance

Apparently, (according to this survey) a majority of us are dissatisfied with our jobs.  My survey was much less sophisticated, but only 1 our of every 4 of you feel like your job really fits you.  Strange isn’t it.  If you work from age 20 until age 65 and work a standard 40 hours per week, you will have spent 93,600 hours at work.

That means 93,600 hours of dissatisfaction for most of us!

That seems like an eternity.  How can this be?  I have a few ideas about why work feels so much like work.

1.  We are asked to pick careers way too early in life.  The world doesn’t even look remotely like it did when people expected me to make a choice and decide what I wanted to be.  Frankly, I am still trying to figure that out.

2.  Employers traditionally have hired on skills, not if you are suited to do the actual work.  I help a lot of people try to hire the right employees and have had to move beyond just asking about technical skills.  If I hear another “tell me your strengths and weaknesses” question I may just blow a gasket.

3.  The economy isn’t helping.  Many people are feeling a little trapped.  The “you are lucky to have a job” may be perfectly true, but doesn’t inspire us to be our best in the long-term.

What do we do with the results?

If you are a “sort of” or “not really” when it comes to your job, take the next few days to take an inventory.  (Yes I am always giving some sort of homework.)  Write down the parts of your job that you like, the stuff that doesn’t feel like work.  Then make the list of those aspects that seem both hard to accomplish, and make you exhausted.

Does talking to that customer really make your day?  Does pouring through the spreadsheets until everything is in balance feel like a win?  The parts you enjoy are most likely consistent with your behavioral style.  Then the real challenge begins: finding the “right” job for you.  But that is a topic for another day.

3 Comments on “The Poll Results

  1. A college student from my alma mater called the other day for a donation. But in so doing took a slightly different tack to open. He asked how I was doing in my career!! Odd? I said it was I in the wrong career for most of my life; a career not suited to my aptitudes. I scored very low in speed with numbers and very high in memory for design and ideaphoria (flow of ideas) on an aptitude test taken 25 years out of college. Guess what! Accounting was a major part of my job. It took forever to complete projects and it frustrated me. I needed to be in a profession that complemented my aptitudes. I am now in that profession and much happier. Oh! And that college kid. He was an engineering/management major and struggling with his accounting courses.

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