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January 14, 2011

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Regarding item 4, from my limited research on the topic, the most successful companies in the future will be those that promote learning and innovation, encourage risk taking and stretch assignments, as they have direct impacts on talent retention, operational improvement and product development/introduction. The fact that training budgets and rotational assignments are often the first to go when cutting costs bewilders me.

Regarding item 5, I agree with your statement, but have found that prospective employers do not like to be fished for salaries. If they extend you a package, they want you to take it, not turn it down just because you were testing the waters.

WOW...epic fail:

1. My company solely exists to make profits for the top 18 - owner, president, and vice presidents. The little they do contribute to charity is always republican charities...

2. The people I work with are okay, but we are in two complete generations and they have let go of everyone I used to interact with regularly. So, no, I have no real attachments at work anymore.

3. I have actually been told by my supervisor in private that every single person in my building would be easily replaced. I have zero voice.

4. I'm not learning anything new except I get a lot of time to blog and learn about blogging-related stuff I should know.

5. I'm making "enough" but not nearly what I could be...$35,000 a year for someone who graduated with honors seems screwy to me. Of course it's my own fault for staying but I'm working on that. :-)

Yep, my job sucks for me except I get to blog. As soon as I can replace my salary with blogging, I'm outta here. :-)

I've been at my job for 17 years. I enjoy it because I work with a lot of smart people and I learn something new every day. I get to work from home so no commuting time or costs, or having to wear business clothes to the office. I have to travel about 6 times a year to places like Vegas, San Diego and Orlando, the conference capitals of the US - need business clothes then. The company matches all of the non-profit donations I make. I don't feel as if I have a voice with management, but with a $1B company, I'm a cog. On the other hand, I do have a meaningful impact with our customers and I've known many of them for all of the years I've been there. The best part of this job is that I see my kids when they get home from school and then go back to work after they go to bed. I'm not leaving any time soon.

Reason 6: Every time you drive to work, you hear Johnny Paycheck in your head. (LOL - this isn't me, I love my job)

Of course compensation matters.

They say: "Virtually every study I've seen shows that there's almost no connection between how much money you make and how satisfied you are with your job."

But that of course doesn't mean that people like being underpaid. What I think the study results really mean is that people are OK accepting lower wages if a job is wonderful. If you are highly satisfied with your job then lower compensation is probably OK. If you are unsatisfied with your job then you're not likely to be happy about being underpaid for your crappy job.

@jim: Of course people don't like being underpaid. But they obviously like it enough to stay - right? Because if all the other factors were so bad, and they could get another job, why don't they? I think people will stay even if they know they can get xx% more somewhere else IF they like the environment for the reasons stated. And I think people will walk for 1% or even no raise if the current situation sucks.

@crystal: If your job sucks so bad, AND you think you are underpaid, why did you stay so long? You said you're working on your blog income, but how long did you choose to stay with this sucky job?

I think the correlation (or the lack of a correlation) mentioned in the post regarding pay not being a factor is meant to describe those occasions when an employee dislikes a lot of the factors of his job but stays because he's being paid ridiculous money, as in $65/hr. or higher. The job's compensation keeps him there.

One example would be a relative of mine who constantly complains about the on-call and lack of flexibility as well as the grueling hours being on her feet. Yet she doesn't complain about the great benefits and the $70,---/ yr. salary (she works at a hospital).

BTW...The $65/hr. (above) is an overtime/'on-call' wage rate...but still, way too good to pass up, IMO.

This article shows me just how much things have changed for the worse since the days I used to get up every weekday morning and happily go off to work to meet my congenial colleagues and get on with my work which I found very satisfying, creative, rewarding, and challenging, where every day was an enjoyable learning experience.

The difference was that I worked from 1956 to 1992 in Defense & Aerospace and we were in the midst of the Cold War and in a race with the USSR to build military weapons. Throughout my career the companies at which I worked were hiring and growing and the raises and promotions kept coming.
I helped design and analyze components for the Avro Arrow Mach 2 Interceptor plane for the RCAF, the Convair B-58 Hustler Bomber for the USAF, and the Polaris, Poseidon, Trident I and Trident II submarine launched intercontinental ballistic missiles for the USN.

What's happened to America?

Mark, I agree with your interpretation. But the way they said it, it sounded to me like they thought wages really don't matter to people.

Old Limey, I like my job. I think many of us still enjoy if not love our jobs. In fact I've seen some polls that show 80-90% of people are at least 'somewhat' satisfied with their job.

@Paul:

Regarding your statement:

"If they extend you a package, they want you to take it, not turn it down just because you were testing the waters."

My response to that is "tough". Obviously, they want you to take the offer, otherwise they wouldn't have extended it. However, I don't feel any obligation to accept the offer just because it is extended.

1. Having worked at a couple of companies based solely upon making money alone and having worked a community college. I can say this is extremely true. Being part of something that is bigger than you and based upon making people better and giving them a future. That was the best place to work at first.

2. People - This can be the number one reason to leave a job. See #1 above for me. This was the reason that I left that job. But it wasn't my co-workers so much as the turn over above all of us. The change in leadership changed how the day to day things where handled. And how much we were able to help the students so alot of us left. It is true I have no loyalty to a company but I have alot of loyality to a boss if he shows loyalty to me. It is earned not given.

3. Voice - Really? Not sure this matters. To some it does and to some others it really doesn't. There are times when I care. I usually find a way to get my opinions through. But for the most part I think this is true of anyone. When they care they will be heard eventually.

4. Growing as an individual. Yep that is important. But usually it is up to the person. Where do they want to learn. Like the person above said. No opportunity at work but I find a way to learn what I want too. That is what most people do. Everyone will invest in what they love. Hobbies etc.. and will grow in the way they want to grow.

5. Money - I think this is the one that you might have missed. Yes every survey will point out that this does not matter. but really it matters a great deal. I left a money making company for a much better paying job. Because I was under paid and it was beginning to be hard to support my family. Amazingly enough the college paid 25% more than the other company. Sooo I left because I was woefully underpaid. The company had most of the other things but I left for the money and it was probably the best choice I made ever in my young life.

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