What is a good job?

I wanted to go back a bit to the Employee Satisfaction Survey link that I had a few posts ago. In it, Dave Roberts notes in Young Feds that he was on a project that went to six cities across the country and tried to answer a basic question: What is a good job?

This was interesting. Here was the answer:

“No matter where we went, or to whom we talked, the answers were pretty much the same. The nation’s workforce, young or old, wants a job that provides competitive wages and benefits, as well as one that allows them to do work they believe in.”

I believe that’s accurate — but the devil is in all the details. What are competitive wages and benefits? What is work to believe in?

I would add a couple of other items to the list for what constitutes a good job:

Professional management team. How many really good managers have you run into lately?

Performance based culture. This means there is good accountability on who is doing what and it can be measured.

Collaborative performance. One can have a “performance based culture” and have it mean nothing if you have no collaborative say in the accountability. (See: professional management team….)

Reasonable expectation of not being laid off. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to work on something I believe in, I have to personally invest my energy and time to have it work right. Having an expectation of being laid off at any time disconnects from that need. Note: a reasonable expectation of not being laid off. There are no guarantees.

The overall findings on the tour, including the need for workers to have a better work ethic (see: reasonable expectation of not being laid off….), are found in a PDF document called American Jobs: A National Conversation and well worth the read. And since I have a global readership, I’d suggest that the points made here would apply to many other countries as well.

What makes a great job for you?

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