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Most Rate Job as an OK, Casual Date

By Kathy Gurchiek  2/21/2008

Most U.S. workers wouldn’t be feeling the love if their job took human form, according to a recent quirky survey of 1,215 full- and part-time workers.

Workers were asked to rate how they felt about their jobs using the following scale: “I like my job so much I’d marry it”; “I like my job enough I’d date it seriously”; “It’s OK, I’d date it casually”; “I don’t like it, it won’t last long”; or “I hate it, I want to break up with it immediately.”

Not quite half, or 43 percent, say they have an OK relationship with their job, while more than one-third, or 34 percent, like their job enough to date it seriously.

A smaller percentage (9 percent) of workers loves their job enough to marry it; 5 percent hate it and would break up with it immediately if it were a person they were dating.

“It’s no secret that many Americans spend more time at work than with their significant others,” stated Alice Snell, vice president of Taleo Research.

“Still, we are finding that the time spent at work isn’t causing workers to fully engage with their jobs in ways that increase job satisfaction and productivity,” she said in a press release.

She suggests organizations invite regular employee feedback, offer mentoring, reward strong performers, and better understand and support employees’ career goals as ways to help them “find and ignite their passion for work.”

Age, geography, marital status and income are factors that influence how U.S. workers feel about their jobs, according to the online survey that Harris Interactive conducted from Jan. 30 through Feb. 1, 2008, on behalf of California-based Taleo Corp.

Among the findings:

  • Employees over age 55 are more likely to love or like their job than employees age 18 to 34 (53 percent vs. 37 percent, respectively).
  • Employees age 18-34 are twice as likely to hate or not like their jobs as those 55 and older (19 percent vs. 7 percent).
  • Employees who are married are more likely to love or like their jobs than those who are single or never married (50 percent vs. 29 percent).
  • Employees who are married also are less likely to want to immediately break up with their job than single or never married employees (9 percent vs. 24 percent).
  • Employees in the West are more likely to love or like their jobs than those in the Northeast (48 percent vs. 39 percent), but a slightly higher percentage hate or don’t like their jobs than those in the Northeast (16 percent vs. 12 percent).

One factor that employers have control over, though, is compensation, and the bigger the paycheck, the more employees said they loved their job. Forty-nine percent who earn more than $75,000 per household love or like their job, compared to 36 percent who earned less than $35,000 per household, the survey found.

A slightly higher percentage of workers who earned less than $35,000 per household don’t like or hate their job more than those with a household income of more than $75,000 (16 percent vs. 13 percent, respectively).

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