How important is job satisfaction to you?

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by Colleen27, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

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    Some friends and I were having an interesting conversation yesterday, in which we realized that after the announcements from Walmart and others about boosting their base wages, we're actually making the same or less than cashiers and stock boys in our skilled or semi-skilled positions. All four of us that were in this discussion have 2 or 4 year degrees and are working in our fields, so we're not the cliched "got a useless degree, working at Starbucks" set. We're just in low paying fields and so far, the pay scales aren't shifting to compete with low-skill employers.

    I thought the conversation was interesting because my whole life I've heard that the true cost of raising minimum wage is exponentially greater than the impact on retail/food service because EMTs and nurses aids and para-pros won't work for $10/hr if they can make $11 at Walmart... and yet here we are, a group of women talking about how we're doing just that. And it made me wonder if this is where we're going, economically, where job satisfaction now comes with an actual price tag and the opportunity to use our skills and training is something that costs, rather than benefits, workers who want to avoid the retail/food service grind.

    What price would you pay to have a satisfying job? Is it worth earning less than even the lowest-wage employees to have a job you enjoy or a better work-life balance? I'll admit, I was seriously annoyed yesterday when I first heard that Walmart greeters will be making just about what I make in a position that requires a four-year degree, but I still wouldn't trade my position for theirs. And maybe that's the problem, because it gives my employer absolutely no incentive to pay more than they do right now.
     
  2. Christine

    Christine Would love to be able to sit on

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    I think it comes down to whether or not you have the luxury to make that choice.

    Job satisfaction is EXTREMELY important to me. I'd much rather be in a career I love than greeting people at Walmart. However, if we are talking a significant pay differential, then you might see me greeting at Walmart. It's very important to be happy in your profession; however, you also need to be able to put a roof over your head and not stress about paying the water bill. Having financial security is important to me and it could be more important than job satisfaction. Just depends where I am in life.

    If I'm living in a dual-income household and my SO's salary affords me the luxury of taking lower pay for more gratification, then that would be my choice.
     
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  4. MamaBelle4

    MamaBelle4 DIS Veteran

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    First, this is a new development, and it is often said that change comes from "the bottom up". So hopefully wages will increase proportionally.

    Second, retail employees should earn far more than what they had been. It is a nightmare to deal with some people (look at the Christmas Tree Thread for evidence).

    And third, and most importantly, yes. Job satisfaction is immensely important. My DH got injured and was off of work for 6 months and lost his job he had been working at for a decade. When he was cleared to return to work and started looking he found one that looked amazing on paper. Closer, peaceful commute, higher salary.

    He hated it. Hated the work, hated the owners, hated his co-workers. He was so miserable and there was nothing I could do for him. He found another job. The work is challenging and he is thriving. He's been there for two years and the owner is so thrilled with him, he authorized a huge raise for him at his evaluation and, when he had to take off without pay because he was out of days, he was told by his supervisor, anytime you need off it's approved because I know I can depend on you.

    He comes home tired, but happy. That's worth everything to me.
     
  5. LSUmiss

    LSUmiss DIS Veteran

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    About a yr ago I changed jobs in my field in order to work in a school system so I get paid about 1/3 less than I would in other job in my field. To me it’s completely worth it & I don’t care what others get paid in comparison. But, I also have that luxury b/c DH makes quite a bit more.
     
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  6. mi*vida*loca

    mi*vida*loca Collect memories, not things

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    It’s very important to me. I love my job. Its hard, challenging and i get to help people. I feel like I’m making a change. I make significantly more than Walmart employees but even if they made more than i do it would have to be double my pay at this point for me to even think about working at Walmart. I’m no stranger to hard work but retail and fast food are nothing i would willingly do anymore. Those days are behind me.
     
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  7. Gumbo4x4

    Gumbo4x4 Note to the ladies who forgot to

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    I've left many jobs I loved for ones I wouldn't enjoy as much. Satisfaction doesn't pay the bills.

    On a side note, I've had some friends over the years in similar spots as you. People with Masters degrees making less than factory workers. The thing was, the degreed folks loved what they did whereas none of the factory workers loved their job. The other thing was, the degreed folks all had opportunities to make much more money, but only if they were willing to take on more challenging positions, which they were not.

    Everything has a cost. High pay, low stress, short commute, great benefits, job satisfaction, flexible hours, low danger, low physical effort; all these things are desirable. But, as with anything in life, it's a compromise. If you're able to claim at least 3 of these, you're doing better than most.
     
  8. NYCgrrl

    NYCgrrl DIS Veteran

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    I had a lucrative career working in the hospitality industry but despised the corporate mindset that went with it.
    Opened my own business in a related field (property management) and enjoyed steering my own star, in my pjs or out; emptying the "circular files" and asking my boss for a raise, LOL.

    Sold the business to another corporation and am now semi retired looking for what I want to do next.

    I value my time and expect anyone who employs me to feel the same way. The man (retired) doesn't mind working conventions at minimum or close to it hourly wage as he sez it gives him a change of pace; I need more.
     
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  9. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk Invented the term "Characterpalooza"

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    It sure doesn't.
     
  10. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    Do you live to work, or work to live? 40 years ago I was living to work. Today I am working to live. In a perfect world you have great job satisfaction and great pay. In the real work, you hope for a balance of the two. Likely it is somewhere else.
    DW and I have great satisfaction with our jobs.....when we are allowed to do them the way they need to be done. Right now our corporate owners are in the "reinventing the wheel" mindset. Eventually, it will cycle back to the only way they can be done successfully. So right now our jobs are more about the money, which could be better, and less about satisfaction.
    We live our lives after work not during.
     
  11. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

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    I felt that way too, in theory. I know my field will never make me rich and I don't mind. And I knew the first few years especially would be at lower pay, because my options are limited by where we live. But I didn't realize it would be *this* low - I'm making about 50% less than the average new grad in my field, and although my loans are small, they're enough that I'd have been better off financially if I hadn't gone back to school. And I'm having a harder time adjusting to it than I thought I would, because in theory it was easy to think "As long as I have something left over after my loan payments, it is more than we had before" but in practice it is hard to reconcile myself to the idea of my profession being worth less than the jobs our society generally views as throwaway.

    That is the perspective I'm trying to keep. What my job lacks in pay it makes up for in flexibility. I work from home or in the field more than in the office, and while I put in more than the 40 hours I get paid for, I can decide when and where to work most of those hours. Plus I have more PTO after 3 months than my husband has had in the last 5 years, although the trade-off on that is that every vacation will to some extent be a working vacation when I use it.
     
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  12. gillep

    gillep DIS Veteran

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    So many trade offs in life! I work in a field that has a huge pay gap depending on credentials and title, thankfully I have been very fortunate in the opportunities that have opened for me, and I am at the higher end of the scale, but I don't know how some people in my field make it work. I love my job, and greatly value job satisfaction, that said, financial security is much more important to me, if necessary, I would work three jobs that I hated just to have a little bit of monetary cushion. I do love the perks of my current position though, I can basically work remotely 100% of the time and therefore have a lot of flexibility there, but there really isn't an option for me to be unreachable either, but that isn't something I mind.
     
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  13. GreatLakes

    GreatLakes DIS Veteran

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    Job satisfaction is very important to me. I don't believe you have to love every second of your job or have a job that happens to also be your hobby. In fact I think working in your hobby is a good way to possibly stop liking your hobby.

    I spend way too much time at work to hate it or dread going in each day. I work in the field I went to school for and I feel fairly compensated while also making strides up the career ladder at regular intervals. I am not done or at the place where I plan to retire but I generally look forward to each day and what I plan to accomplish. If I could go work at Walmart for the same salary I wouldn't because I would hate the work.
     
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  14. ronandannette

    ronandannette I gave myself this tag and I "Like" myself too!

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    Wage ranges for similar jobs here in Canada are apparently very different than yours. I'm constantly :eek: shocked and appalled when I hear how little many American law enforcement officers, fire fighters, paramedics, teachers, social workers, child and seniors' care attendants and even some nurses are paid. :flower3:

    As for me, my only job satisfaction is in cashing a big, fat paycheque. I make exponentially more than a WalMart greeter but it's tough, mentally and emotionally taxing work. I've done it (or something very similar) all my working life and I have absolutely no shot of matching the pay at anything else. I'm in my peak earning years now so God willing, I'll soldier on until retirement in 20'ish years.

    I can tell you unequivocally though that if WalMart greeting paid the same, I'd do it instead (or flip burgers or clean toilets or whatever). At the point I didn't need the money I wouldn't work at all - there are 101 volunteer and ministry roles I'd devote my time to instead. Now that would be satisfying...:cloud9:
     
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  15. low-key

    low-key DIS Veteran

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    For me job satisfaction is enjoying the people around me, and I do, in fact you would have to be real idiot for me not to like you :p
     
  16. sk!mom

    sk!mom DIS Veteran

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    I'm a teacher. Love my job and the school I've worked at for 20 years. I could definitely make more if I left the classroom but I won't.

    DH worked in a high stress but lucrative career for 20 years. During that time we bought a house, paid of his student debt, he funded my college with no debt, and we became completely debt free. All of that to work toward what we thought would be an early retirement for him in 2018 when our youngest graduated college. We figured that he would be completely burned out by then.

    Fast forward to 15 years ago. Due to our being debt free, he was able to leave his high stress environment for a job in the nonprofit sector. He now loves his work, is compensated with a great deal of time off to offset the pay gap and he will not be retiring this year. He loves his work.

    So yes, job satisfaction is important to us.
     
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  17. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    I actually wouldn't mind being a WalMart greeter! :chat:

    It would be a nice break from the work I've done most of my life.

    I often think of this story when the subject comes up:

    "WAL-MART SENIOR GREETER
    You just have to appreciate this one. Young people forget that we old people had a career before we retired...

    [​IMG]

    Charley, a new retiree-greeter at Wal-Mart, just couldn't seem to get to work on time. Every day he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late. But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean-shaven, sharp-minded and a real credit to the company and obviously demonstrating their "Older Person Friendly" policies.

    One day the boss called him into the office for a talk.

    "Charley, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic, you do a bang-up job when you finally get here; but your being late so often is quite bothersome."

    "Yes, I know boss, and I am working on it."

    "Well good, you are a team player. That's what I like to hear”.

    “Yes sir, I understand your concern and I will try harder”.

    Seeming puzzled, the manager went on to comment, “I know you're retired from the Armed Forces. What did they say to you there if you showed up in the morning late so often?"

    The old man looked down at the floor, then smiled. He chuckled quietly, then said with a grin,
    "They usually saluted and said, Good morning, Admiral, can I get your coffee, sir”?"


    [​IMG]
     
  18. dosekies

    dosekies DIS Veteran

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    My job is no where close to where i expected to be or what I studied - I'm currently working in insurance licensing with a music degree. Shockingly to me, I LOVE what I do, but it definitely has more to do with the environment than the actual job as my boss is amazing and is super lenient as long as your job is getting done. Would I get more enjoyment out of a job in my field? YES. But would I be able to pay the bills? NOPE!
     
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  19. Shanti

    Shanti Momketeer

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    What is your field? I can't help being curious.

    I'm a public schoolteacher in the state of Texas, and while I basically like my job, there have been many times in my life that I've wished I'd gone in for a more lucrative and less stressful profession. However, the way my life is now (single mom with special needs child in private school), I have absolutely no choice but to continue with my current career, as it pays the bills (though not handsomely, compared to the labor-intensity and importance of the work I do), and I don't have time to go back to school and get trained for a different career path.

    The biggest perk my job offers is the summers off, which has provided me a good amount of time to work with my son and give him much-needed help with his special needs. I could see myself doing online grad school classes to qualify for a higher-paying, year-round administrative position after my son goes to college, but that would be several years from now.

    So I guess my bottom line is that money matters, but so does having a job that fits with your life. And at the end of the day, I go to work because that's what I have to do to pay the bills.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  20. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    Re the bolded. Gumbo beat me to it:

    I, too, think there are trade-offs. Many retail jobs pay less, but also don't have some of the undesirable aspects of jobs that might pay more, such as educational requirements, a big commute, long hours, overnights, weekends, holidays, double shifts, etc. And I don't know of any job where you don't sometimes have to deal with difficult people - retail hasn't got that market cornered!

    I've been at my job for a long time and I've found it pretty fulfilling. I almost went into another field which would've been tedious and low-paying, so I'm glad I changed my course of study. I think it is easier to like a job when you're fairly compensated, even when it's stressful. I talk to my kids about this subject a lot, especially in light of soaring college costs. I think it's important that they find something they're passionate about, but will also pay the bills. And graduating debt-free or pretty close to it remains a goal, because it will help take some of the pressure off about jobs later on. Starting out life today with a lot of debt is a handicap that can contribute to dissatisfaction about a lot of things, not just your job.
     
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  21. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    Those are huge, and worth an awful lot. Many people would love to have what you have! Don't look at it as a dollar value, per se. Think of it as, you met a personal goal, your degree, and you're doing the work you want to do, in a situation with a lot of flexibility. That's worth something! A lot, actually! Perhaps as you move forward, your compensation will improve. I wouldn't compare your situation to a WalMart worker's.
     

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