At one time or another, we have all known at least one person who has hated his or her job. That person may have suffered silently or vented constantly, but at the end of the day there was no question this person was truly unhappy with where they spent at least 40 of his or her waking hours every week, for 51 weeks a year.
The reasons for job dissatisfaction vary. Low pay, irregular hours, and lack of a window seat are all assumed to be culprits, and to be sure they can all contribute to a bad attitude on the job. These are actually not the primary factors driving a worker to regard tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock sharp with dread and ill will, however, according to one resource.
CareerBliss is an online resource that bases job satisfaction on multiple factors, including workplace culture, coworkers, and the boss.
According a survey of hundreds of thousands of employees conducted in 2011, CareerBliss determined the 10 most hated jobs, rated on a scale of 1 to 10. In almost all cases, respondents reported that the factors causing the most job dissatisfaction were not lousy pay or a desk near the bathroom. CareerBliss found that limited growth opportunities and lack of reward drove the misery index up more than anything else.
Click ahead to see the 10 jobs with the highest levels of employee unhappiness. The results may surprise you.
By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 5 August 2011
A marketing manager is responsible for overseeing advertising and promotion. This involves developing strategies to meet sales objectives, based on the study of such factors as customer surveys and market behavior.
According to CareerBliss, respondents in this position most often cited a lack of direction as the primary reason for job dissatisfaction. The most optimistic respondent described it as “tolerable,” and gave it the faintest praise possible by saying, “It’s a job.” (In this labor market, that's not such a bad thing.)
CNC machinists operate computer numerical control machines. For the uninitiated, this is a machine that operates a lathe or a mill. On the upside, it renders obsolete processes that used to be performed by hand, at a slow pace and with high risk to the operator’s life and limb.
Now that the CNC operator has had most of the physical hazards of manufacturing replaced by a machine, there’s not a lot to do but push buttons and perform equipment inspections to make sure the coolant is at a safe level. Since it’s a specialized skill, the job offers no room for advancement, which caused respondents to report a high degree of dissatisfaction.
Technical support analysts help people with their computer issues. This typically amounts to calmly communicating technical advice to panicked individuals, often over the phone, and then going on site to find the client simply hadn’t turned the printer on.
Technical support analysts often work in a variety of environments, and they may be required to travel at a moment’s notice, sometimes on holidays or weekends. After all, there’s no telling when a client’s computer-whiz nephew might make a minor tweak to his machine, with disastrous results.
In the words of one of the respondents, “You can do better, really.”
Clerkships are among the most highly sought-after positions in the legal profession. A law clerk assists judges as they write opinions, and the ones who get the job are almost always near the top of their class at law school. Six justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, including Elena Kagan and current Chief Justice John Roberts, were all law clerks early in their careers.
The job clearly beefs up a resume. Yet law clerks still report high levels of dissatisfaction. The hours are long and grueling, and the clerk is subject to the whims of sometimes mercurial personalities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported the job brings in a median salary of $39,780 a year—not exactly striking it rich—and those looking for advancement within the position simply will not find it.
Electronics technicians maintain, troubleshoot and collect monthly measurement data for electronic systems. They work in every sector and can be employed with the phone company, a chain of fast-food restaurants, or the U.S. Navy. Whatever the case, technicians work on-site and off-site, have constant contact with clients, and must have an ability to quickly solve complex technical problems under intense pressure.
Employee dissatisfaction in this job is attributable to several factors. One respondent complained of having “too little control,” while another had a litany of complaints: “Work schedule, lack of accomplishment, no real opportunity for growth, peers have no motivation to work hard, no say in how things are done, hostility from peers towards other employees.”
A technical specialist “leads the analysis, definition, design, construction, testing, installation, and modification of medium to large infrastructures,” according to CareerBliss. This means that if a company wants to design a project, the technical specialist evaluates it to see what’s possible and what isn’t.
The job is a lead position that requires intimate knowledge of engineering; familiarity with Linux helps, too. However, technical specialists reported that for all their expertise, they were treated with a palpable level of disrespect. They cited a “lack of communication from upper management” and felt their “input was not taken seriously.”
Senior web developers design, maintain, and develop applications for the Internet. With every business expected to have some kind of Internet presence these days, developers are found working in every type of company, in a full-time, part-time, or freelance capacity.
A senior developer is expected to be fluent in client-side and server-side contexts, and know his or her way around Python, Ruby, or whatever other arcane technology requires taming. Senior developers reported a high degree of unhappiness in their jobs, attributable to a perception their employers are unable to communicate coherently, and lack an understaning of the technology.
”Product manager” is a wide-ranging job title that takes on many meanings, depending on the company and its sector. In some cases, the job requires simply evaluating what products are best suited to a company’s business model, and in others marketing, resource management, and scheduling are involved.
The level of job dissatisfaction was very high for this position. One respondent complained that it restricted growth, saying that it was “very hard to grow up the ranks.” Another was less polite and said “the work is boring and there's a lot of clerical work still at my level.”
A director of sales and marketing plans implements efforts to promote companies and generate business. Responsibilities often include budget management, public relations, and employee training.
Sales and marketing directors reported the second-highest level of job dissatisfaction of all survey respondents. The majority who responded negatively cited a lack of direction from upper management and an absence of room for growth as the main sources of their ire.
For all the press that teachers and nurses get for their long hours, low pay and thankless tasks, it may be surprising to see the most hated job was that of information technology director, according to CareerBliss. After all, the salary’s pretty good and with information technology such a prevalent part of everyday business, an IT director can hold almost as much sway over the fate of some companies as a chief executive.
Still, IT directors reported the highest level of dissatisfaction with their jobs, far surpassing that of any waitress, janitor, or bellhop. Of those who responded to the survey, one simple, five-word response summed up the antipathy very well: “Nepotism, cronyism, disrespect for workers.”