It was a recent posting on 24/7 Wall St. (“Insightful Analysis and Commentary for U.S. & Global Equity Investors,” at www.247wallst.com) that put my column-writing brain into gear this month. Entitled “The Most (and Least) Satisfied Professions,” it discussed a 2012 telephone survey of 172,286 individuals over the age of 18 that was conducted by Gallup-Healthways. The findings were reported in something called the “Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index” that tracks—tada!—well-being in the U.S. I was so troubled by the results noted below that I considered clicking on a link about miserable American cities just to make myself feel better.
Category: Installation or Repair
(Overall ranking: 12 out of 14)
Job types: Mechanic, linesman, maintenance worker
Well-being index score: 64.8
Pct. with health insurance: 75.9%
Pct. satisfied with job: 87.2%
According to the survey/article, respondents in the “Installation or Repair” category (which would appear to cover readers and/or prospective readers of this magazine) “were less likely to practice healthy
behaviors. . . were among the least likely employees to regularly eat fruits and vegetables. . . were among the most likely to smoke. . . also provided lower self-evaluations of their current lives than all occupations except for transportation workers,” i.e., bus drivers, flight attendants, and air traffic controllers (only 80% of whom believed they were using their strengths at work). More good news, if you could call it that, was the fact that “Installation or Repair” respondents reflected a slightly higher well-being index score and greater degree (percentage) of job satisfaction than those from what the survey categorized as “Manufacturing or Production” (64.3% and 83.4%, respectively).
I’m not sure these numbers jibe with our anecdotal evidence—specifically as it applies to your sense of job satisfaction. No doubt there are some big “apples and oranges” differences at work here. For example, Gallup-Healthways probably doesn’t classify job titles the same way we at Applied Technology Publications do. And nobody around here can remember ever having conducted a survey that asked questions about our readers’ eating, smoking and exercise habits. Still, we can’t help but wonder what’s really going on. We need your help.
Please go to www.mt-online.com/satisfaction and take MT’s new “Job Satisfaction Survey”—bring your brethren and sisters from the “Manufacturing or Production” category along with you. The questions won’t take but a few minutes of anybody’s time to answer, and your responses should help us clear a few things up. In the meantime, just to be on the safe side, I encourage everyone to eat more fruits and vegetables… regularly. MT