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Personal Fulfillment Frequently Cited as a Top Job "Like"

Schedules, pay, politics are top dislikes

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- A recent Gallup Panel poll finds that American workers most often say they like that their jobs offer them a sense of fulfillment, provide opportunities to help people, and give them autonomy in how they accomplish their tasks. On the other hand, American workers top job dislikes are their work schedules, pay, and office politics. Job likes and dislikes vary by educational attainment.

Past Gallup polling shows that most Americans report being satisfied with their jobs. As such, U.S. workers should like a lot of different aspects about their jobs. The poll finds that the top likes do not have to do with material concerns, but rather with what people get out of their jobs.

First, please tell me what you particularly like about your job. [OPEN-ENDED]

BASED ON 540 ADULTS EMPLOYED FULL- OR PART-TIME

%

Doing what suits me best/fulfilling

18

Interacting with the public/helping people

15

Freedom/flexibility to do job my own way

13

Flexible hours/favorable work schedule

12

Good pay/wages

10

Like co-workers/work well together

7

Challenging

5

Job security/stability

5

Variety of duties

5

Self-employed/own boss

4

Get to work outdoors

3

Get to work with children

3

Job is close to home/convenient

2

Benefits

2

Good work environment

1

Other

3

Nothing

1

Everything

2

No opinion

2

Percentages add to more than 100% due to multiple responses.

At the top of the list of job likes are that workers find their job fulfilling or a good match for their skills, mentioned by 18% of respondents, and that it provides opportunities to interact with the public or to help people, mentioned by 15%. A significant number of workers cite various aspects of job flexibility -- either in terms of the way they are able to do their jobs (13% mention this), having flexible hours or a favorable work schedule (12%), or being able to perform a variety of duties while at work (5%).

Bread and butter concerns are not trivial, but are not as frequently mentioned as top job likes. Ten percent cite their pay as one of the aspects of the job they like, while 2% mention benefits. Five percent say they enjoy their job security.

Women (19%) are slightly more likely than men (13%) to say interpersonal interactions are a reason they like their job. Responses also differ by education level. College graduates are more likely than non-college graduates to praise their job for being fulfilling or allowing a flexible schedule.

Job Likes by Educational Attainment

%

College Graduate

Fulfilling

26

Flexible hours

17

Flexibility to do job own way

16

Interacting with public

14

Pay

9

Non-College Graduate

Fulfilling

16

Interacting with public

16

Pay

12

Flexibility to do job own way

11

Flexible hours

9

Notably, only 1% of all American workers say there is "nothing" about their job they like. In contrast, 12% say there is nothing they dislike about their jobs.

When looking at American workers' dislikes, 14% say they do not like the hours or days they are scheduled to work, 13% dislike their pay, and 11% say there are too many politics in the workplace.

Now, please tell me what you particularly dislike about your job. [OPEN-ENDED]

BASED ON 540 ADULTS EMPLOYED FULL- OR PART-TIME

%

Don't like the hours/days scheduled to work

14

Pay/wages

13

Too much politics in the workplace

11

Tedious/boring/not challenging

7

Poor management/supervisors

6

Dealing with customers/rude customers

6

Stressful/too much pressure

5

Poor working conditions (too hot/cold/dirty)

4

The commute

3

Lack of job security

3

Lack of materials/resources to do the job

3

Dislike my co-workers/lack of teamwork

3

Poor benefits

2

Strenuous/hard work

2

No opportunity to advance/grow

1

Too much paperwork

1

Other

4

Nothing

12

Everything

*

No opinion

2

* Less than 0.5%

Percentages add to more than 100% due to multiple responses.

Other common concerns are that the job is boring or not challenging (7%), that the supervisors or managers are doing a poor job (6%), they have to deal with rude customers (5%), and that there is too much pressure or stress at their job (5%).

The top dislikes differ by educational attainment. For college graduates, office politics is most often mentioned as an unfavorable aspect of their job. Among non-college graduates, the most common response concerns the hours or days they are scheduled to work.

Job Dislikes by Educational Attainment

%

College Graduate

Office politics

17

Pay

13

Hours/days scheduled to work

12

Boring/not challenging

7

Stress/pressure

6

Management/supervisors

6

No opportunity to advance

5

Non-College Graduate

Hours/days scheduled to work

17

Pay

13

Office politics

9

Rude customers

8

Management/supervisors

7

Boring/not challenging

6

Working conditions (hot/cold/dirty)

6

Survey Methods

These results are based on telephone interviews with 540 adults, aged 18 and older, who are employed full-time or part-time, conducted July 24-27, 2006. Respondents were randomly drawn from Gallup's household panel, which was originally recruited through random selection methods. The panel was weighted prior to sampling so that it was demographically representative of the U.S. adult population. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Gallup


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