According to a Gallup Poll cited in today’s Redeye, workers across the world are not engaged in their jobs. Only one in six people polled claimed to find meaning in their work. Results were slightly better in the U.S. and Canada where a whopping 29% called themselves engaged.
What do these numbers mean for us as individual workers? First, it indicates that much work available today is not stimulating or challenging. I would add as a second point that the people on the job help make it good or bad. When we work for a bad company or a tyrant boss, the type of work doesn’t matter. The job will suck, and we hate going to work. I’ve been there, and so has everyone I know.
Many workers in the U.S., especially those with higher education or specialized training, at least have some choices and options. I recommend that clients try to align the type of work they do to their gifts, the type of skills they most like to use. It’s not always easy to find such jobs, but the pay off is worth the effort. Here’s a first step: Don’t stay in a job that makes you feel miserable. According to Gallup, about one in three Americans are happy in their jobs. Do everything you can to be part of that group.
A post on Uncommon Dreams Gallup survey shows that Americans’ opinions of unions are at an all time low. This fact (to the degree that any opinion survey can be a fact) doesn’t surprise me. The corporate owned media, especially the flacks at Fox, beat unions day in day out.
Americans don’t like history. Unions brought higher wages, the forty hour work week, and job security. Since Reagan, those benefits, like union membership, have declined. Now public sector workers, especially teachers, are the right wing’s new targets.
It’s very disappointing that working people in America can’t tell their friends from their enemies (Yes, I mean enemies). I wonder what the response would be if the poll asked:
Do you want your children to work for minimum wage?
Do you think it's fair for people to work overtime and not be paid overtime wages?
Will America be worse off when the average job is found at Wal-Mart?
When working people don’t support each other, we all lose.