Work, Life, and Satisfaction: Too Many People Hate Their Jobs - Politicrossing
Connect with us

Business

Work, Life, and Satisfaction: Too Many People Hate Their Jobs

A Gallup poll published long before the lockdowns revealed that only 30% of Americans are passionate and enthusiastic about their work

Published

on

The summer before entering graduate school, I landed a job working for a large moving company where imposed deadlines ruled. Each day the drivers and helpers (I was a helper) left the company parking lot at 6:30 a.m.

Everyone’s daily goal boiled down to the same thing, however varied the assignments – finishing the move by the day’s end. If we were moving office equipment or entire offices, the deadlines were often based upon the closing times of loading docks, secured parking lots, and office buildings. If we were handling household moves, we sought to finish before dark.

My Job Drives Me Crazy
The full-time employees, or “lifers” as they were called, came from all kinds of backgrounds. The work was demanding, exhausting, and unrelenting. The lifers basically hated their jobs, but for many, that’s all they qualified for – many were high school dropouts. Later, I’d learn, people in all types of industries hate their jobs.

Visibly, most of the lifers were aging faster than normal. Each knew the importance of meeting their daily deadlines with an incremental approach, and in inducing the customer to ask them to stop:

An Incremental Approach – In the moving business, one simply could not make a hurried move. For one thing, you’d start dropping items, bumping into other people, and placing items in the wrong rooms.

If you tried to quickly unload a truck, you’d become so tired halfway through that you physically could not finish. So, we unloaded our trucks methodically. I caught on from the first day, largely because I had no choice.

Those first couple of days, I was so sore by the evening that I couldn’t proceed any faster, even if I wanted. By the second week, I started to build up some muscles and could maintain the status quo.

Please Stop

Item by item, the lifer and his helper would lift items off the truck or roll them onto dollies. Office moves were easier than household moves because buildings had loading docks, freight elevators, and long tiled hallways. Houses, by contrast, had front steps, narrow doors, heavily carpeted living rooms, winding stairs, and other irritating impediments.

On household moves, once the truck was cleared of a family’s possessions and all items were in the house, the next task was to unpack all of the boxes. Many contained items which were singly wrapped with newspaper or plastic bubbled sheets.

It was physically easier to unpack boxes, rather than lift, carry, and place them, but by this point in the day, neither the lifers or helpers wanted to do anymore work.

A Wink and a Nod
One sure-fire technique helped shorten our day. With a simple nod to one another, lifers and helpers working on household moves began to unpack the individual items in boxes at a furious pace.

At first, the family was pleased to see such efforts. After a couple of minutes, as one box was opened after another, and hundreds of items started pouring forth, the family typically panicked. They realized that if they let the movers go unchecked, every box in the house would be open and every item they owned would be parked in the far reaches of the house. So, invariably, families asked us to stop.

They wanted to open the boxes, later, at their own pace and regain the ability to make incremental progress themselves. We always feigned perplexity. We’d say, “Are you sure you don’t want us to do any more unpacking?” They were sure, alright. They could hardly wait to see us go. They signed off on the moving contract and displayed signs of relief as we made our way out their front door.

Universal Job Dissatisfaction

The next day, once again, we’d arrive at work early, and depart on our assignments by 6:30 a.m. Thank goodness it was only a summer job.

Decades later, well into my career, I learned that most people, not merely lifers in the moving business, hated their jobs.

As startling as it seems to those of us who love our work, a majority of American workers either loathe their jobs or couldn’t care less about what they do. These results, coming from a Gallup poll BEFORE the lockdowns, published in The State of the American Workplace Report, reveal that some 30% of Americans are passionate and enthusiastic about their work, and are actively engaged in their tasks on a daily basis. These are the high-performing, highly productive segments of the labor force.

Far Short

According to Gallup, apparently all others fall far short of being actively engaged and nearly 20 million workers are what Gallup terms “actively disengaged.” These workers are unhappy and only too willing to convey their sense of dissatisfaction about the jobs they do. Another 50 million workers are “passively disengaged.”

In all, about 70% of our 100 million person workforce fall into the “I don’t like my job” category. Thus, a broad swath of industries, executives, managers, and supervisors today face a continuing challenge when it comes to enticing the 70% to consistently reach their productivity potential.

– – – – –

 

 

We'd love to hear your thoughts about this article. Please take a minute to share them in the comment section by clicking here. Or carry the conversation over on your favorite social network by clicking one of the share buttons below.


Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
 
 
 

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.



Business

Running up Huge Deficits: Bad for Nations and for Individuals

Deficits are risky, whether global, national, regional, state, local, or personal

Published

on

Joe Biden seeks to spend $6 trillion annually, for now. It could be higher thereafter, as our national debt climbs to staggering sums: $28.5 trillion, and $153.5 in unfunded liabilities. Has any nation in history that accumulated large deficits over a prolonged period of time and, lacking a concerted effort towards reducing them, sustained economic prosperity for its people?

Personal Deficits

Deficits are risky, whether global, national, regional, state, local, or personal. What are the deficits in your own life? For example, based on how many calories you’re consuming daily, are you running a deficit in the number of calories you need to burn to maintain a proper weight level? If so, you know that you face many health risks.

Do you have a financial deficit? For decades, tens of millions of Americans have accumulated personal debt via credit cards. Sustained deficit spending erodes one’s ability to prepare for the future and, worse, exploit current opportunities.

Is there a deficit in the time that you spend with relatives and loved ones? What about hobbies? Friends? Worthy causes?

Answers Appear

When you’re honest with yourself about your deficits, the answers to reducing them naturally appear:

* To reduce a weight deficit, plot your weight each morning for six months. Once you become vividly aware of the relationship between calories burned and weight reduction, watching your weight drop will further reinforce your ability to maintain balance in your caloric intake.

* To reduce a personal financial deficit, place a moratorium on spending – regardless of what items entice you – until all your credit cards have zero balances.

* If you have a deficit in the time spent with friends, on hobbies, or on worthy causes, devote one evening per week to such endeavors. Give up addictive news and information via web and TV that, in retrospect, might add little to your life while creating other time-related deficits. To spend more time with your children, involve them in activities you have traditionally done without them.

Here are two resources:

Debtors Anonymous: www.debtorsanonymous.org
Obsessive-Compulsive Anonymous: www.obsessivecompulsiveanonymous.org

– – – – –

 

Continue Reading

Business

Your To-Do List: Unforeseen Events Will Arise

No matter how well we organize our lists and how productive we are in handling tasks, unexpected obligations and interruptions arise that could throw us off our plan.

Published

on

Each day you compose your to-do list and begin proceeding merrily down it, do you take into account what is likely to occur in the course of a day? No matter how well we organize our lists and how productive we are in handling the tasks, invariably, unexpected obligations, interruptions, and other developments arise that are going to throw us off our plan.

How do you react when you are humming along and, suddenly, you get an assignment from out of left field? Perhaps your boss has asked you to jump on something immediately. Maybe a client calls. Maybe something gets returned to you that you felt was complete.

If you are like most professionals, you immediately will become flustered. The intrusion on your time and your progress means that you are not going to accomplish all that you set out to before the end of the day. Is there a way to proceed and still feel good about all that you accomplish?

A Supplemental To-do List

I believe there is, and it involves making a miniature, supplemental to-do list that accurately and completely encapsulates the new task you now need to handle.

Why create this supplemental to-do list? It gives you focus and direction, reduces anxiety, and increases the probability that you will remain buoyant at the time of its completion and be able to turn back to what you were doing before the task was assigned.

If you don’t compose such a list, and simply plow headlong into the unexpected challenge that has come your way, you might not proceed effectively, and you might never get back to the to-do list on which you were working.

Unforeseen tasks that arise represent more than intrusions on our time; they represent intrusions on our mental and emotional state of being. Some people are naturally good at handling unexpected situations and often work as public servants, such as police officers and firefighters, or in health care, as nurses and orderlies.

Most of us, however, are not wired like this. Interruptions and intrusions take us off the path that we wanted to follow, and tend to be at least momentarily upsetting. Hereafter, when executing the items on your to-do list, proceed with the mindset that there will be an interruption of some sort. You don’t know when it is coming or how large it will be, but it will pull you off course.

Equanimity Reigns

The key question for you is: Can you develop the capacity to maintain balance and equanimity in the face of such disruptions? The good news is that you can, and it all starts with acknowledging that the situation is likely to happen, devising a supplemental checklist to handle the new task, and as deftly as possible, returning to what you were doing.

– – – – –

 

Continue Reading

 

Our Newsletter

Become a Politicrossing insider: Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.

Sites We Like

Our Newsletter

Become a PolitiCrossing insider: Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.

Trending

Politicrossing
 
Send this to a friend