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September 18, 2011

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There you are - marry a physiotherapist, Siggie.

My guess is that the extremely high dropout rate for financial services sales agents boosts the results. Most people who enter the field leave within a few weeks or months, and therefore aren't likely to be answering these polls.

This list doesn't make sense to me. The fondest memories I have were when I worked as a programmer/ systems designer in the 60's and 70's. I left only to make more money in sales which proved to be much more financially rewarding but very distasteful as a day to day career.

I cannot fathom a career in IT. Not only does it suck but it's low status (nerdy/beta).

Lol I guess management isn't all that what it's cracked up to be..

The most hated jobs are more likely to have a managerial component-- the word manager appears twice, and director appears twice. Managing people is hard and frustrating, since it's often highly regulated (you can't fire people who deserve it).

In my experience a job is as good as the environment you work in. If your boss and coworkers are viscious, nasty people, your gonna hate the job. If they're nice, you've got it made. It doesn't have much to do with your actual job duties. Also - commute time and stability matter.

IMHO.

While a career in programming might suck, I think startup potential is fundamentally good since the overhead is so low, and this has even improved recently as the tools have gotten very good (and outsourcing options ahve improved if the new tools don't cover what you need.) Y-Combinator notes the improved tools as they give startups <20k in seed money. I've been studying ruby and actually having fun writing code. I've been coding since elementary school and I've never had fun writing code. Before Ruby, it was always about what the code accomplished.

i think the rule that interaction with customers makes you happier is accurate. being stuck in the middle of a bunch of colleagues, some of whom may be assholes, is enough to wreck your day, week, month and year.

Commonality in most of the good jobs is that they involve helping people or pursuing a passion.

If you read IT trade publications like InformationWeek or InfoWorld, you will see that even magazines that purport to be for IT workers talk down to them.

Their advice sounds like the self-serving wish list of an executive who sees workers as a necessary evil at best: when a business manager wants something, rush to cater to him and basically be George McFly, they say.

Needless to say, acting like a sycophantic beta gets you nothing but more shit work and heavy lifting. (Yes, Asians claim that this only happens to them, but that's not quite the case.)

Also, the trade pubs direct much disapproval towards "heads-down coding," because this necessary work makes the manager feel discomfort - since managers sit in meetings and pass the buck, apparently it is offensive for someone to actually be doing real work because it highlights the manager's superfluousness.

Maybe it's not the jobs themselves, but the people who are drawn to them. Group one looks like it would attract more ambitious workers, and discontent is a flip side of ambition.

DaveinHackensack,

I think there is some truth to that, but its also true of the jobs themselves. Looking at them what is the next step up for people in these professions.

1 Clergy

Some faiths have none. In some you could be a cardinal or something. But that is a bureaucratic position that takes you away from helping people and might be less satisfying overall.

2 Firefighters

Chief firefighter? I don't think there is much of a hierarchy or status boost from moving up the firefighter ranks.

3 Physical Therapists

Unless you become a doctor I don't see the upgrade, and that's so out of sight it doesn't bother people. I suppose you could be a manager but once again that takes you away from helping people and may be less satisfying.

4 Authors

N/A here, other then selling more books

5 Special education teachers

See #3

6 Teachers

See #3

7 Artists

See #4

8 Psychologists

See #4

9/10 I will pass on

So basically we are talking about jobs that are satisfying, pay enough to be comfortable, have reasonable status, and there isn't a lot of pressure to "move up".

I also notice that most of them are careers we would consider gender specific, in contrast to the most hated.

Clergy at #1

Most of the folks they actually deal with respect them respect their opinions, that is their followers. The work load is often very light. The pay is high for the work level and responsibility. Usually the president of the congregation and church council have all the responsibility for all of the financials and building maintenance etc.

In contrast, Mormons have no paid clergy and four congregations must share a single church building by meeting at different times. Obviously if large church body can operate without paid clergy, the work must not take that much time.

"Chief firefighter? I don't think there is much of a hierarchy or status boost from moving up the firefighter ranks."

Fire departments have hierarchies and officers, like the military. The difference in pay and outside status isn't as extreme though, which is why it makes sense that most firefighters would be happy with the pay and comradeship without feeling the need to climb the career ladder.


"3 Physical Therapists

Unless you become a doctor I don't see the upgrade, and that's so out of sight it doesn't bother people."

"5 Special education teachers

See #3"

Physician isn't a goal on the career path of physical therapists or special ed teachers; successful physical therapists with their own practices can make as much as physicians, with better hours and less stress.

"4 Authors

N/A here, other then selling more books"

Actually, this one isn't like the others. This is the closest to a winner-take-all profession, since such a small minority of authors sells nearly all the books. Reading between the lines, those who self-identify as authors are probably either independently wealthy or have high-earning spouses, and thus are content with the creative aspect of being an author because they don't rely on it for money. Either that, or this is a universe of already successful authors.

"In contrast, Mormons have no paid clergy and four congregations must share a single church building by meeting at different times. Obviously if large church body can operate without paid clergy, the work must not take that much time."

Just to flesh out your argument, the Bishop, who is the lay leader of a Mormon congregation, is told to expect to put in 15-20 hours of church work outside of regular church meetings. I hold a lower position and spend about 5-6 hours a week on ministry activities.

On the other hand, all Mormon men are ordained ministers, so they are expected to shoulder a lot of their own family's needs in a way that members of a typical Christian congregation might not.

The teaching profession has a huge dropout and burnout rate, which is inconsistent with it being one of the most liked jobs. Half the people who enter teaching quit after a few years.

[HS: This is actually quite consistent, because the survey is polling mostly the people who stayed in the profession, and they are going to be more satisfied than those who dropped out.]

Most of the satisfying jobs don't involve capitalism and making money.

> I cannot fathom a career in IT. Not only does it suck but it's low status (nerdy/beta).

Yea, because being on the cover of Time Magazine is beta. What a jackass. IT is the highest status career there is. Can you say I am CEO, bitch? Can you say IPO? Can say Bill Gates? Can you say antitrust lawsuit? Can you say $100 billion market cap? Tekkies are fucking rock stars, and even the shittiest ones make 6 figures. Killer field. Killer pay. Killer lifestyle. It is #4, but #1 if you're a rock star IT guy.

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