10.06.2005

Career Decisions - As Dolly once sang,
"Workin' 9 to 5...What a way to make a livin'"

I've been in Washington for about eight years and I have been with my current employer for two years and six months. This is the longest stretch of time that I have been with the same company, in my entire post-college career. Once again, I am feeling a little restless and I am seeking a new challenge. My employment has been pretty steady in the software/consulting sector; however, I am thinking about leaving the software industry and trying something completely new. I have thought about all kinds of careers, from farming (seriously, there are ways to be a profitable farmer/grower) to becoming a high-school art teacher.
I just don't think I can spend my days behind a computer for much longer. I'm craving that "get your hands" dirty job that comes with plenty of challenges and many rewards.
According to a Sept. 26-28th Gallup Survey, now is not the best time to be seeking my dream job:
  • 38% of Americans say now is a good time to find a quality job
  • The majority of Americans (56%) say it is a bad time

Even more interesting, responses are colored by one's politics:

  • 6 in 10 Republicans (60%) say it is a good time to find a quality job
  • 33% of independents say it is a good time to find a quality job
  • 22% of Democrats share this point of view

Job satisfactionn is also an interesting topic. For those of us who do not have steady access to money, we must work in order to earn, save, provide and hopefully, invest. I also believe that the desire to work is not just based on earning potential, but it is a product of our environment. I hear the sarcastic saying about DC-ers or East Coasters all the time - chatting with someone on the East Coast (especially DC and NYC) is all about who you work for, what you do, etc. I have found myself (reluctantly) locked into one of these conversations, but I've also been able to sway the conversation to other, more interesting topics. I do have to admit - I know I spend 40 hours a week at my job, as do most of my peers; at some point, the topic of work is going to surface. I am constantly challenging myself to make sure it is not a topic that one spends more than a little while addressing.

Gallup's annual Work and Education Poll, updated Aug. 8-11, finds:

  • About three in five employed adults in the United States like their jobs
  • A fortunate one-third of workers love their occupations
  • Only 9% of working adults dislike or hate their jobs

No more financial worries! Apparently, we Americans still want to work (how honest were these people!?) - 60% wouldremainn employed in some capacity.

Gallup asked workers what they would do if the lottery presented them with $10 million in instant wealth.

  • Overall, 36% of workers say they would continue to work in their current jobs
  • 24% would continue to work but find a different job
  • 39% would stop working

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