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Pay vs. Happiness

ScuttleMonkey posted about 9 years ago | from the but-i-want-both dept.

IT 766

itri writes "A co-worker recently sent me and article about job burnout. Although it's a year old, the points seemed to resonate well with me. The nutshell of the article is that job burnout is caused by lack of the sense of accomplishment, working for a narcissistic boss, and a conflict between the employers and employee's values. Is it really better working for a company that cares about your satisfaction? Are there any companies like that and (more importantly) are they hiring?"

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Its a matter of perspective (5, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | about 9 years ago | (#13654591)

With respect to your question, I have to say that you are really responsible for your own happiness and 90% of the employers out there do not really care about it. If they are smart, they would want happy employees, but as society moves more towards a service based economy with pre-produced products, there will be less craftsmanship around and less care for average employees as they can be quickly and easily replaced. So, your task is to find the niche that you can provide a well crafted product that those (like myself) will pay more for. I would say that if you are not happy, then change jobs or change careers or go back to school or start your own business.

With respect to pay vs. happiness, its a continuum is it not? There are those that would sell their souls to make the monthly payment on their Mercedes. I personally find that repugnant as it goes against my punk DIY ethos, but to each their own. Some folks simply find the job as a means for money to do other things with their life while others enjoy what they do for a living. I personally like to surround myself with people smarter than I am, have a passion for what they do, and treat them well to keep them around. That way, everybody is happy and things get done.

Incidently, I have three positions I am hiring for:

1) Board certified neurologist willing to relocate.

2) Board certified cardiologist willing to relocate.

You never know, but there are MDs that patrol Slashdot on occasion, so, why not?

3) Most importantly for this forum: A programmer. Can you program for OS X? Have Cocoa experience? Do you know IDL from RSI? If you answer yes to all three of the above questions, I have a job for you. I have my own stuff to keep me busy and happy so I won't be breathing down your neck. You even get to work from home or the lab, it's your choice, but if you are in the lab, you can have access to an incredibly extensive and diverse shared iTunes library and crank all you want. You can also have all the flexibility you want with the hours, I just want the code done within a reasonable amount of time. This is a contract position and you will find me most accommodating to work with.

If the meetings I have with the VCs next week go well, I might be hiring programmers with scientific robotics experience. Stay tuned to the Slashdot journal which gets updates from my blog.

Re:Its a matter of perspective (5, Funny)

BushCheney08 (917605) | about 9 years ago | (#13654617)

but if you are in the lab, you can have access to an incredibly extensive and diverse shared iTunes library and crank all you want.

Lots of tunes and all the crank I want? Sign me up!


Re:Its a matter of perspective (1)

tktk (540564) | about 9 years ago | (#13654661)

With respect to pay vs. happiness, its a continuum is it not?

Pay and Happiness are two different variables. They tend to be positively positively associated because high pay tends to increase happiness. But you can have high happiness with low (or zero) pay.

Re:Its a matter of perspective (1)

iamlucky13 (795185) | about 9 years ago | (#13654683)

...and very low happiness with very high pay. I think most of us have seen it happen somewhere, or at least heard stories about it.

Re:Its a matter of perspective (4, Interesting)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | about 9 years ago | (#13654759)

My Mother. After Law School, three law degrees, 18 odd years as a lawyer and five as a Judge. She suddenly quit and went to culinary school to become a pastry chef.

Some people can be happy with just a big paycheck and extra letters after their name but mostly they are the minority.

Re:Its a matter of perspective (3, Funny)

BWJones (18351) | about 9 years ago | (#13654766)

Your mother is one of my new heros. Seriously.

Re:Its a matter of perspective (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654867)

I'm creating a Sims character based on your mom's career(s) :)

Re:Its a matter of perspective (2, Funny)

Donniedarkness (895066) | about 9 years ago | (#13654663)

you can have access to an incredibly extensive and diverse shared iTunes library and crank all you want.

I'll learn to program.

Re:Its a matter of perspective (3, Insightful)

dogugotw (635657) | about 9 years ago | (#13654742)

I've found that I'm happiest when my employer's reason for being fits in with my core belief system. While I don't hold an employer responsible for my happiness, I know that when I'm in sync with my place of employ, I find joy. As my needs, desires, and goals drift away from those of my workplace, the pleasure I derive from working diminishes (and I usually move along).

For me, I don't want or expect, the employer to stive to make me happy. I want an employer who understands what they do, why they do it, and that they do it well.

Keep looking, you can find work that is meaningful for you.

Re:Its a matter of perspective (5, Funny)

The Bungi (221687) | about 9 years ago | (#13654749)

Board certified neurologist willing to relocate.

Good thing you're not in the IT industry...

- "So, you're a neurologist?"
- "Well, sorta. I play 'Operation' online all the time and I'm really good. I'm also halfway through the Wikipedia article on neurons. So... do I get the position?"

Re:Its a matter of perspective (1, Offtopic)

BWJones (18351) | about 9 years ago | (#13654782)

Dude, that is seriously funny and not too far off the mark.

It takes quite a bit to actually get me to laugh out loud and this was good enough.


Re:Its a matter of perspective (1, Informative)

kormoc (122955) | about 9 years ago | (#13654862)

Yeah, it's sad.

We're looking to hire another php developer for our in house software (If you're a looking for a entry level php/mysql/Linux job in the Seattle area, Here [] is a job to take a gander at. Must be in the Seattle area, etc) and it's absolutely amazing at the under qualified applicants, most of which can't even complete the proficiency test, which is dirt simple. In fact, most don't even try to run their code, as what they send us use functions that don't exist (such as mysql_connect_query, or querying before selecting which db to query, etc).

And the worst part... They have degrees...

diverse shared iTunes (0, Troll)

oliverthered (187439) | about 9 years ago | (#13654753)

Are you licensed for that? it's one thing people copying a few songs it's another thing when a company does it.

Re: diverse shared iTunes (1, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | about 9 years ago | (#13654811)

It is my personal iTunes collection all of which were either purchased on CD and ripped to iTunes or purchased from the iTunes music store. iTunes allows up to five people to share your libraries of music and you can have your music hosted on up to three (I think) machines. So the library at my laboratory is a copy of the library i have at home on the music server. Nothing we do here is illegal.

re: willing to relocate (2, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 9 years ago | (#13654761)


Dude - relocate to _Utah_?! You gotta be kidding there hazard pay included?

(joke!) [sorta]

What's that old saying? (3, Insightful)

rbochan (827946) | about 9 years ago | (#13654774)

I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees

Worst aspect of an IT job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654787)

Being forced to use Windows. Fortunately, there is a bright side [] to it.

Nice Try... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654821)

Allow me to translate this:
      "I have a job for you."

Translates to:
      "But I won't pay you much"

Believe me Doctors and lawyers are all the same... they charge you out the ass for their services, they make you wait, but they seemed shocked if you want to charge them.

That's why I've never accepted work from them.

To break it down more succinctly, Lawyers will try to screw you in the contract and in the payment, Doctors seem shocked that you won't work for free.

This guy is probably thinking... Gee, $30/hour is a reasonable wage.... and he gets pissed off when you tell him... "4 weeks of work, 160 hours, that will be around $10,000". But he thinks "Hmmm, one 'procedure', 3 hours of work $5K".

Only work with this guy if you are close to starvation and lack any kind of self-esteem.

Re:Its a matter of perspective (1)

Trailwalker (648636) | about 9 years ago | (#13654865)

Indeed, a matter of perspective.

Perhaps, you should relocate.

An increasing number of Americans are flying to Singapore, India and other asian locales to have medical procedures done. The cost savings, even after inclucing air fare are 50% to 2/3rds of the cost of an American Hospital.

You could find your Neurologist, Cardiologist and Programmer in one labor market and save. The doctors are American trained, board certfied, and the hospitals are some of the best in the world.

You would have to take your chances with the programmer.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654594)

usermilk reigns supreme in the first post era. #"Pink Moon" - 2:06 #"Place to Be" - 2:43 #"Road" - 2:02 #"Which Will" - 2:58 #"Horn" - 1:23 #"Things Behind the Sun" - 3:57 #"Know" - 2:26 #"Parasite" - 3:36 #"Free Ride" - 3:06 #"Harvest Breed" - 1:37 #"From the Morning" - 2:30

Burn-out is common with Linux Admins (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654596)

Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

Take installation. Linux zealots are now saying "oh installing is so easy, just do apt-get install package or emerge package": Yes, because typing in "apt-get" or "emerge" makes so much more sense to new users than double-clicking an icon that says "setup".

Linux zealots are far too forgiving when judging the difficultly of Linux configuration issues and far too harsh when judging the difficulty of Windows configuration issues. Example comments:

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Linux?"
Zealot: "Oh that's easy! If you have Redhat, you have to download quake_3_rh_8_i686_010203_glibc.bin, then do chmod +x on the file. Then you have to su to root, make sure you type export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.2.5 but ONLY if you have that latest libc6 installed. If you don't, don't set that environment variable or the installer will dump core. Before you run the installer, make sure you have the GL drivers for X installed. Get them at [some obscure web address], chmod +x the binary, then run it, but make sure you have at least 10MB free in /tmp or the installer will dump core. After the installer is done, edit /etc/X11/XF86Config and add a section called "GL" and put "driver nv" in it. Make sure you have the latest version of X and Linux kernel 2.6 or else X will segfault when you start. OK, run the Quake 3 installer and make sure you set the proper group and setuid permissions on quake3.bin. If you want sound, look here [link to another obscure web site], which is a short HOWTO on how to get sound in Quake 3. That's all there is to it!"

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Windows?"
Zealot: "Oh God, I had to install Quake 3 in Windoze for some lamer friend of mine! God, what a fucking mess! I put in the CD and it took about 3 minutes to copy everything, and then I had to reboot the fucking computer! Jesus Christ! What a retarded operating system!"

So, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that what seems easy and natural to Linux geeks is definitely not what regular people consider easy and natural. Hence, the preference towards Windows.

Re:Burn-out is common with Linux Admins (4, Insightful)

HermanAB (661181) | about 9 years ago | (#13654701)

Oh man, you are so disconnected with the real world - i don't think you have ever installed Linux - not in the last 5 years anyway.

Windows is only easy to maintain because everybody get so much practise fixing it all the time...

Re:Burn-out is common with Linux Admins (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654797)

Stupid-ass troll feeder

Re:Burn-out is common with Linux Admins (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | about 9 years ago | (#13654760)

Oh my god, you are a moron. STOP COPY-PASTING THAT TROLL!
Or at least change ">1" to "1". Not only do you look like a moron, it subverts your entire point. :P
You're worse than that "algorithms are evil, zomg" troll.

WAAAAAAAH! I'M SAD! (-1, Flamebait)

Albert Pussyjuice (675113) | about 9 years ago | (#13654597)

You want a job? I've got one for you.


Americans are such whiners. Now I know why the French hate you shitfuckers.

Re:WAAAAAAAH! I'M SAD! (1, Troll)

sexyrexy (793497) | about 9 years ago | (#13654763)

Job burnout is a serious issue for Americans, who typically work 20 hours or more per week than their lazy European counterparts. That is why the US accounts for 30% of the world's economic activity.

Re:WAAAAAAAH! I'M SAD! (2, Interesting)

ChickenFan (887311) | about 9 years ago | (#13654886)

Americans are, apparently, the most productive workers in the world. ... but they're sure as shit not the happiest.

I've worked in Europe and I've enjoyed 40 hour work weeks and 35 days paid vacation per year. It made me more productive overall when I was at work. Strange but true.

Now I'm in the U.S. and I get 15 days vacation and the idea of 40 hours in high-tech is a joke.

So now I work long hours (but get less done), don't get decent vacations, am worried about the cost of heathcare and whether I'm going to get fired next week for "realignment" reasons, have a 70 minute commute in stop/go traffic and a $500,000 mortgage on a shit-hole house and I'm barely making the payments.

Still, you've got to laugh.

You marvelous genius of comedy you! (1)

Elad Alon (835764) | about 9 years ago | (#13654780)

You marvelous genius of comedy you! /me tears down his shirt, screams at you like a teenage girl and blows you a kiss.

I'm happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654601)

I'm extremely happy with my job. They pay isn't as good as it could be, but the benefits, flex time, dress code, etc more than make up for it. I'm also getting my master's free. Good Stuff.

Channel Your Inner Wally (2, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | about 9 years ago | (#13654606)

After all, if your supervisor is going to channel their Inner PHB, they give you little choice.

Re:Channel Your Inner Wally (1)

ryanov (193048) | about 9 years ago | (#13654680)

I struggled against it for a very long time, and then everything just started going farther and farther to hell without any sign of stopping, so this is exactly what I did. Something rewarding about that, I have to say. Anyway, management noticed and gave me a better role and now things have evened off. Willing to bet it doesn't often work that way.

Burnout. (5, Insightful)

Captain Scurvy (818996) | about 9 years ago | (#13654611)

Thoreau said, "A man is only as rich as the number of things he can let alone." Who cares how much money you make if you're so swamped you can't enjoy it? I am considering a career change for this very reason. Life's too flipping short.

Re:Burnout. (1)

b0r0din (304712) | about 9 years ago | (#13654718)

Well no offense to Thoreau but he wasn't exactly poor, even when he was in Walden Pond people would stop by and bring him pies and stuff. But I agree with your overall point.

Re:Burnout. (2, Insightful)

mslinux (570958) | about 9 years ago | (#13654845)

I'll tell you who cares... my wife. She cares a lot about how much money I make. That's one reason she has sex with me. Money makes her feel comfortable and secure. So comfortable that she'll do anything to keep me around... and I mean anything. And, I like that.

My kids care too. Money buys them clothes, toys, puts a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs and pays for medecine when they're sick. The more money I earn, the better I can take care of my kids.

A friend of mine was in Afghanistan doing some contract work. He had taken some spare money and purchased Marlboro cigarettes by the case before he left. He used these cigarettes on several occasions to bribe his way past tribal/bandit checkpoints. Money allowed him to do this... and everyone in the Land Rover with him was 'happy as hell' because of it. So, as you can see, money does indeed buy happiness... it gets you laid, makes your kids hug you and may even save your ass someday ;)

Re:Burnout. (4, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | about 9 years ago | (#13654874)

Ah, but money in this case has two defining factors:

1. Is it liquid cash available to you, debt free?
2. Do you have any debt burdens that will reduce your income in the future?

I believe having debt is a key element in job burn out, as it is a key element that scares people into thinking they need their current job.

Even saving just 10% of your gross income should reduce your stress levels a thousand-fold. And give your wife even more reasons to have sex with you :)

Re:Burnout. (1)

dillon_rinker (17944) | about 9 years ago | (#13654881)

Who cares how much money you make if you're so swamped you can't enjoy it?

You should. Hypothetically, you could stay single and work your tail off to achieve modest financial independence within 10 years. If you're not on track to do this, then forget about it nd find a job you don't hate and that permits you to have a life outside of work.

Burn out at work is not always work related! (4, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | about 9 years ago | (#13654612)

I have to say that this article makes me feel crazier than I normally do.

With so many people out of work, it seems almost like biting the hand that feeds you to complain about your work conditions and expect your employer to care. Your employer's role is to provide work for you. Your job is to do that work. The employer should "care" in order to make you the most efficient you can be, but it is not their job to make sure you don't have other life ills that may cause you to take on more than you can handle. All my employees who have burned out in the past were replaced by people who accepted more pressure, more time constraints, and more deadlines without burning out. Those who burned out with me had burned out in the past and continue to burn out to this day. There are many reasons why they've burned out, and few of them had anything to do with the job.

Job burnout has more to do with the lack of appreciation and reward an employee receives for his or her efforts than an increased work load. NO. Job burnout has more to do with the fact that the employee sacrifices himself for a crappy job, why? Maybe because he's in terrible debt! Get your finances in order, and you can walk away from ANY bad job. Never tell me you NEED your job because of financial struggle. Maybe his girlfriend is a manic depressive freak who constantly pulls him away from his other responsibilities. Maybe he's got a habit that he can't kick, or he's got some baggage that makes him want to succeed no matter what. You made your bed, sleep in it.

Those suffering from job burnout feel no sense of accomplishment from and no control over their work lives. So walk away. Start your own company. SAVE. The Chinese are saving up to 40% of their income. The Americans are now saving 1%, 30% of all mortgages lately are interest-only. Why are you stressed: job or real life?

Today to get ahead and save for a reasonable retirement, workers often must hop from company to company to get a promotion. Ahhh! The average employee puts almost 15% of his income away in Social Security that he knows he will never see! How about if he put 15% of his income into his own house, savings account, vacation, or whatever? How much happier would he be? Do NOT say that employers are responsible for YOUR retirement. What are we teaching our next generation? That is it someone else's responsibility to take care of us in our old age.

Everyone is expendable, thanks to many employers' short-term, economic goals. I've run 7 businesses in the 15 years I've been in business. ALL of them had long-term goals, but I also realized that a LOT of my employees would be short term as they learned from me and found someone willing to pay the more. The wonderful free market allows people to do this. Those I invested the most in I had the most reason to pay better and give better fringe benefits to. Those who left because someone was willing to pay more than me found themselves in a better position. Those that complained I wasn't paying enough were not worth more to me, and not worth more to anyone else either it seemed.

The job conflicted with my values. I was mentally and physically exhausted and suffered from chronic stomach problems. Oh, I didn't realize this guy was forced to keep this job. Did his employer put a gun to his head? Did he have absolutely no other options to get a job? Did he really LIKE the pain it caused him?

Not dealing with a burned-out employee can undermine your organization's health and lead to a burnout epidemic. In the free market this is called "bankruptcy" and rarely has to do with employee's health. When all your employees are getting burned out, it is likely that the business was failing in many other areas.

It is very important to realize that there are MANY reasons why people burn out in work, in relationships, in friendships, in life in general. To blame employers for this VERY complex situation is ridiculous, and I believe the author is a nut job to try to let other people try to spread the responsibility on those who were not responsible.

One reason to have healthy relationships in life is so those who love you can see when you're over-extending yourself and can say "quit that job" or "stop smoking pot" or "break up with that girl she's crazy" or "you're into porn too much." All of these can burn you out, and often its a COMBINATION of them.

Re:Burn out at work is not always work related! (2, Insightful)

picz plz (915164) | about 9 years ago | (#13654719)

Amen to that. There's much more to a healthy life than just work. Some people can be given all the praise, love, and material wealth in the world and they'd still be burned out. It's the lifestyle that makes people happy. Happiness comes from a stable lifestyle which involves responsibility. Yes, too, being in good relationships with responsible people can help you stay happy by giving you an outside opinion when they think you are going astray.

Re:Burn out at work is not always work related! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654757)

Typical preaching from the top of the mountain bullshit. Yes yes, we know that you had to scrimp and save through 15 years of unemployment and lived on the streets for another 15 before you finally found your current position.

It doesn't change the fact that you're using browbeating methodology while completely ignoring the economic realities of today's world. Take this snippet for example,"Get your finances in order, and you can walk away from ANY bad job". Just how are people supposed to do that when they're paid just enough to keep them from sinking further? Or this snippet,"So walk away. Start your own company. SAVE." It's just that easy, isn't it?

Fucking troll.

Re:Burn out at work is not always work related! (1)

dada21 (163177) | about 9 years ago | (#13654788)

Yes, its just that easy.

Live at home and save every dime over living expenses. Even earning $10 per hour as a teenager/early 20's can net you a very nice nest egg for later in life.

But all the kids/youth I know have iPods, new cars, nice rental apartments downtown, 3 nights-out-a-week, DVDs and home theaters. And they wonder why they're stressed at work.

Re:Burn out at work is not always work related! (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | about 9 years ago | (#13654777)

are you some kind of fucking college kid living off mum and dad? because thats the only way you could have come up with this crap about not needing a job. without a job how do you intend on putting a roof over your head and food in your stomach?

Re:Burn out at work is not always work related! (3, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | about 9 years ago | (#13654808)

When did I say you don't need a job? I just mentioned you can SWITCH jobs.

I'm 31. I can live stress-free on $10 per hour. But I like toys so I work harder. When I get close to feeling stressed, I cut back on work, which means cuts back on toys. But if you buy toys on credit, expect there to be no easy way to cut back on the stress that will likely follow.

Re:Burn out at work is not always work related! (0)

MickLinux (579158) | about 9 years ago | (#13654784)

You know, I'd actually tend to think that burnout is most often caused by a clash of two peoples' wickedness, where wickedness is the desire of a person to be their own god. Those who want worship, obedience, power, to be self-made, or to defend themselves -- are going to find themselves in battle after battle with others who want the same things. In line with that, I suspect that you yourself may be subject to burnout, as are your employees. That's just based on what I've seen at my own job, where my boss was always at everyone's throat, and especially at the throat of his daughter, the secretary. Of course, she was also doing battle with her housemate, but she developed an exploded blood vessel in her eye from hypertension. A lot of that was caused by her father's harranguing. But she still didn't completely burn out-- he did. That is, if you call burnout the abuse of prescription medicines, worse and worse temper and despair, being more and more abusive of everyone around him [including his own boss], and finally being fired for the abuse, I do. But my point is that when you want to be your own god and a god to others, you're going to be battling other people until you fall.

Re:Burn out at work is not always work related! (1)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about 9 years ago | (#13654893)

Most of us spend a third of our lives at work, shouldn't the *environment* (by that i don't necessarily mean pointy haired boss) be more flexible in providing adequete facilities for happiness? There is no mandate that states that life should be difficult, but it's what some people believe. Just because you earn a living doesn't mean you should have to sell your life to do it. Consumer economy drives spending. Spending drives debt. Debt drives dependency. Dependency drives desperation. Most service/sales based employers DO have a responsibility, because they are constantly pushing this way of life on others.

Re:Burn out at work is not always work related! (1, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 9 years ago | (#13654896)

Job burnout has more to do with the fact that the employee sacrifices himself for a crappy job...

Not always. I did tech support for an ISP for over seven years. The last two or so I survived largely because of Zoloft. Not because I "sacrificed myself for a crappy job," but because of the incessent rudeness, abuse and refusal to cooperate of the brainless twits I spoke to every day as I did my job. I kept that job because I cared about my work, and I got satisfaction from knowing that there were people who's day was a little better because I had helped them. If I hadn't had that, the Zoloft wouldn't have been enough and the jerks would have driven me away, as they drove a large number of other techs away. You have no idea what burnout is, what causes it or how to prevent it, so stop blathering.

Why are they mutually exclusive? (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | about 9 years ago | (#13654614)

I have decent pay and happiness in my job. I pay my bills, and work little, if any overtime. I work for a profitable tech company. I know next week my job will still be here, as long as I keep doing it, and am not subject to to bad management at the moment.

I think if you're happy with your job, you'll be likely be happy with your pay, else you won't be happy with your job.

Re:Why are they mutually exclusive? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 years ago | (#13654713)

I have decent pay and happiness in my job. I pay my bills, and work little, if any overtime. I work for a profitable tech company. I know next week my job will still be here, as long as I keep doing it, and am not subject to to bad management at the moment.

Good for you- but only 7/8 of the above statements are true. You're fooling yourself about the 8th. Guess which one it is?

Let Steve explain! (5, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 9 years ago | (#13654618)

Is Steve Ballmer rich? WAY YES! But is he happy? Oh no wait, Steve, get that chair down HEEEEELP!!!

Problems (1, Insightful)

cached (801963) | about 9 years ago | (#13654623)

The problem in finding out whether job burnout is occurring is because job burnout is nondiscriminating. Employees at all levels suffer. The symptoms of job burnout, particularly cynicism, have a way of spreading. Even employees who like their jobs and find them rewarding eventually may perceive a co-worker's complaints about management and lack of appreciation as valid. Not dealing with a burned-out employee can undermine your organization's health and lead to a burnout epidemic. Alleviating job burnout causes can strengthen morale, job satisfaction, and (what I think is most important to the company): productivity.

Fucking copy/paster (2, Informative)

yuriismaster (776296) | about 9 years ago | (#13654699)

Stolen Direct FTFA, adding in "The problem in finding out whether job burnout is occuring is because" and "(what I think is most important to the company):" Get a life.

You listed all the reasons I'm trying to quit M$ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654628)

it suuuuu-uuu-uuuucks

Maslows Hierarchy of Needs (5, Insightful)

cjkinniburgh (915605) | about 9 years ago | (#13654639)

Maslow's hierarch of needs ('s_hierarchy_o f_needs [] ) would say that a job can, over time, satisfy an employees physiological needs and safety, however, once these demands are met with money, an employer will look upwards in the hierarchy to love and belonging, and see that he could be doing better. I think that this is what happens, people see that once they are 'safe' from their basic needs, they look to expand both their emotions and themselves as individuals. People wish to do as well as they can, and doing so they look up the pyramid, leading them to change jobs, even if this produces a pay cut, as long as the pay cut allows them to live without any hardship.

Re:Maslows Hierarchy of Needs (3, Interesting)

rainman_bc (735332) | about 9 years ago | (#13654705)

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a commonly misunderstood theory. It's about motivation. You can't expect someone to do something for self actualization, when safety need isn't being met. He theorizes that in order to have self-actualization as a motivator, you need to first fulfill physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem etc... A employee who cannot meet physiological needs will not be motivated by esteem needs. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a motivation theory. Of course, Alderfer's ERG theory [] is also important to examine.

jail (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654640)

when i get out of jail, can i traffic my rocks to the community?
absolutely not!

i plead the fif..... FIFFFFF

The answer to every Slashdot question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654644)


Re:The answer to every Slashdot question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654830)

" GOOGLE!!!"

Actually, from what I've heard the post describes Google work environment perfectly, but you get free lunch.

Love what you do (5, Insightful)

The Bungi (221687) | about 9 years ago | (#13654652)

It's that simple. If you wake up every morning and think "wow, I'm pumped up to get to work because I love the stuff I do" then you'll always be happy. It doesn't matter if you're writing software or doing landscaping, and it doesn't matter how much money you make at it.

Of course you can love what you do and still burnout due to bad leadership, bad environments, crappy salary, etc. But when you already love what you do you know exactly what you want and you know what to shoot for. There are many people out there who don't even know what they want to do.

So the trick is just to find a good place to do what you really love. Everything else falls into place after that. The world is a big place. Unless your specialty is the study of the mating habits of the black-striped vampire burrowing ferret that only lives in a remote region of Mongolia, you usually have choices about jobs.

Re:Love what you do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654771)

I'm going to have to agree with The Bungi about this, however, I'll be the first to point out that sometimes you can't do what you love. When that happens, grin and bear it, but never stop looking for the job thats right.

Working in a job you hate is only a step up from living in a cardboard box. At least the hobos get to pick their hours, you might as well be flipping burgers for all the joy you're getting.

Re:Love what you do (1)

stevesliva (648202) | about 9 years ago | (#13654877)

Of course you can love what you do and still burnout due to bad leadership, bad environments,
This is certainly much less of a problem than discovering that you hate your line of work. I'm doing something I really find interesting, and I'm getting paid for it. I also get a huge helping of bureaucracy, beancounting and politics. Whatever-- the grass is not that greener somewhere else in that regard.

But yes, as an engineer, things are most frustrating when you're given some task to do but not provided the tools, the time, or just plain forbidden to do it well. You'd like the serenity to not let it affect you, but if you like your work, you've got emotional involvement in what you're working on. Management crippling your project also cripples your ability to feel good about your work.

I was always told... (1)

TheOtherAgentM (700696) | about 9 years ago | (#13654654)

Get the most money you can at your first job and suck it up. They will almost always ask you how much you made at your last job. If you're good at it, they'll pay you more. Although, this was at the tail end of the .com era, so there was actually money for hiring. Burnout is never good. I was at an IT firm that was a startup and we had to force each other to take days off, because although we couldn't see it ourselves, we were starting to do inferior work. Jobs are supposed to be tough, though. You can't sit around eating Cheetos and playing Tetris, waiting for your meeting with the Bobs...or can you?

"Yes, but", and "Yes, and" (4, Interesting)

Tackhead (54550) | about 9 years ago | (#13654655)

> Is it really better working for a company that cares about your satisfaction? Are there any companies like that and (more importantly) are they hiring?

Yes, but:

Yes, but - a company that cares about your satisfaction is necessary, but not sufficient. You're partially responsible for your own satisfaction. The company can only provide you an environment in which your work is meaningful, and with bosses who aren't asshats. Some companies fail to suck, but if you keep that "I show up, I hide for 8 hours a day, I get nothing done, and they still pay me" mentality, you're not going to enjoy it any more (or any less) than working at your last job.

Yes, and:

Yes, and - they do exist. And they're often hiring. They're everywhere, but they're usually small companies, and you wouldn't know about them unless you knew people already working there.

So, what to do:

Network. In other words, do the same thing you ought to be doing every night, Pinky. Ask your friends who's worth signing up with as part of your plan to try to take over the world.

There are plenty of companies like that (1)

jbellis (142590) | about 9 years ago | (#13654656)

... but most of them are startups.

So if you're looking for a company where you can hide apathy under layers of bureaucracy AND that cares about you, you're probably out of luck.

Otherwise, it's all upside. :)

Re:There are plenty of companies like that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654853)

Not at all, you just need tenure or a VP's office. Then you can make the underlings do all your actual work and occasionally suck up to the department heads, taking credit for the work your students actually did while you "administer". It's absolutely vital that none of your underlinigs be actually allowed to go to meetings where decisions are made, but that's usually easy by the time you've run the gauntlet and gotten tenure.

Play your cards right, and you can get one competent secretary to run your department and a nice jiggly one to ask your IT staff to fill the toner on the printer for them.

Nope- no companies hiring that can afford to care (4, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 years ago | (#13654657)

RTFA-Even the most enlightened, caring employers are facing conditions that can lead to employee burnout. Bob Kerr, Innotec Stainless operations manager and Welding Wire subscriber, wrote, "I hope that as a follow-up to the replies you receive from burned-out welders, you can remind them that their employer's constant efforts to increase productivity while decreasing costs are also an effort to compete in an increasingly competitive market. If the employer cannot compete successfully utilizing domestic labor, he is either forced to offshore or close shop. Therefore, it is in the best interest of each employee to strive for higher personal productivity. As Americans, we tend to forget that we are indeed competing in an increasingly smaller world."

In other words, between the Clintonista Democrats and the Reganites and Bushies, we've signed too many free trade agreements for employers to actually be able to compete *and* care about their employees. So the second gets left in the dust because the federal government can't be bothered with the duties of the common defense and providing for the general welfare.

Re:Nope- no companies hiring that can afford to ca (1)

NineNine (235196) | about 9 years ago | (#13654871)

Actually, all it is is simple competition. The standard of living of the US is finally falling down to the level that is comparable for similar labor in the rest of the world. US workers aren't smarter, certainly don't work harder, and have no reason to be paid so much more than their counterparts in other parts of the world. All we're seeing is a correction from competition being US only for the past few hundreds years to now we're having to compete against the entire world. There was no stopping this with treaties or tarriffs. It's inevitable. We're just seeing it happen now, and of course, it's stressful for Americans with their grand sense of Entitlement. Face it. You're not worth nearly what you're getting paid now. Be happy with less and you'll, well, be happier. It's that simple. Sell the Mc Mansion and the SUV's and let your kids take the bus to school.

Convergys (1)

Jesterace (914041) | about 9 years ago | (#13654660)

That place is not a place to work if you want gratitude. They work you like slaves. And you feel like a moron by the end of the night.

Re:Convergys HAHAHAHAHAHA (1)

radiotyler (819474) | about 9 years ago | (#13654817)

That's so funny. My wife worked there, and she quit becuase they treated her like absolute crap. She found a job that pays more, even in our sleepy Tennessee town.

Personally, (1)

LLuthor (909583) | about 9 years ago | (#13654664)

I went with the company that paid me the most without requiring more work than I could deal with from me.

I am very happy now, and enjoy life even though I get almost no satisfaction from my job or any respect from my bosses. I don't really care... I do the work I am paid to, and I get the money. The rest is my life - which I enjoy thoroughly :)

PS: The views expressed above may be distorted by the fact that I met my spouse due to my job.

40 - average workweek (5, Insightful)

rd4tech (711615) | about 9 years ago | (#13654669)

From my humble experience, these guidelines help with the subject of the article
1. Be at work 10 minutes before time
2. Leave on time or up to 5 minutes after.
3. Don't do overtimes unless it's happening at most once a week and it's paid.
4. Have your own strong principles and be professional, do what you are paid for, but keep in mind rule number 2.
5. When a 'funny' new idea/feature/concept is about to be discussed and possibly implemented, don't go nuts over it. Stay calm, state your view, sit down and shut up. The last part is important because regardless of the undesirability of the idea, if your boss wants it to be implemented, you'll have no choice anyway. Instead of being stressed out, refer to rule 2 and 6.
6. Once work hours ends, forget everything until the next day regardless of the pressure. Work isn't your personal life.
7. Remember that people treat you the way you've allowed them to do.

If you still don't agree with me, do read:
workweek []
Average work week in manufactoring []

Keep your sanity (4, Insightful)

nuggz (69912) | about 9 years ago | (#13654731)

Good advice.
Do your job, be professional, avoid getting into that other stuff.

I enjoy my job, it's a good job. I take pride in my work, I do a good job.

I leave on time, and leave work at the office, generally.

I rarely take work home, and I try not to travel on weekends. I'm fair to the company and they're (so far) fair to me. It helps I've got a reasonable boss who believes in that balance results in better long term performance. Many other supervisors I've seen are less balanced in his approach, their people work more, but don't seem to be any more successful, and their turnover is higher.

Makes you think.

Re:40 - average workweek (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | about 9 years ago | (#13654831)

My job has long (LONG) periods where I have very little workload.. then we have weeks where there's no time to go get lunch or stop at the end of the day. If I worked in the fast food industry they'd put me on "casual" rates and send me home when there was no work to do. Thankfully I work for a megacorp on a salary and they pay me the same no matter how little or how much work there is to do. What pisses me off is the people who do nothing all day long for weeks and then refuse to work late when crunch time hits. They get used to the down periods and think that's all they should be required to do to get paid. I like to think of these guys as consolation prize employees. "I showed up, now give me my trophy!" To which I say, here's your casual rates.

Obligatory - Work for Yourself (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654671)

I've only ever been happy contracting. Get in, get the job done, get out. Get paid twice as much. Establish business identity, take advantage of tax deductions. Very nice way to go. Must be motivated though and willing to SAVE money for the inevitable dry spells.

Accomplishment, have had no conflicts, and narcistic bosses are easily endured for a short periods of time.

Re:Obligatory - Work for Yourself (4, Funny)

tktk (540564) | about 9 years ago | (#13654741)

I've only ever been happy contracting. Get in, get the job done, get out. Get paid twice as much. Establish business identity, take advantage of tax deductions. Very nice way to go. Must be motivated though and willing to SAVE money for the inevitable dry spells.

Get in, get the job done 6 months late, get out. Get called back constantly because you did a poor job.

My apologies if you're not a building general contractor.

Look for small companies. (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 9 years ago | (#13654679)

The smaller the company usually the less politics you need to go threw, the chances you are working on an important job is higher. Because you are a big fish in a small pond you actually feel like you are needed. If you work in a large corporation the benefits will be better but in a smaller company you will get more experience and you will be able to achieve more.

Burnout/hardwork (5, Interesting)

QuantumRiff (120817) | about 9 years ago | (#13654695)

There is bound to be several threads here about how hard work is important, and those that complain are lazy, and want instant gratification. Let me just point out, that back in the day, you worked hard, put in insane hours, and got promoted. It was not unheard of to go from entry level to corporate VP. However, in the last decade, things have changed.. excuse me while I badly paraphrase Office Space "they're going to lay you off and hire interns, so that lumburg's stock will go up a quarter of a point" If you read the article, it also talks about employee dedication being offset by managements short term goals..

I work government, and while I do like my job, there is no real point in my putting in insane hours. Because in government, everyone has to be treated equally. I work about 45 hours a week, busy all day (and reading slashdot!). If we do raises, everyone gets a 2% raise, or x amount a year. Everyone. Even the people that sit around all day surfing the web. There is no reward for me implementing a system wide VOIP system in 1 month from brainstorm to going live. There is no incentive for me to put in tons of work, except for my own satisfaction, and resume building.

a caring company (1)

boarder (41071) | about 9 years ago | (#13654706)

My company is one of those rare ones that has good management and cares about its workers. I don't necessarily think this is the job I want for the rest of my life, but I like the company so much that I'd hate to leave it. We have good retirement packages, good benefits, managers that ask us what we want to do and whether we think we their time estimates are realistic, executives that can name by face almost all of the 1000 people working under them, a flexible work schedule, and a relaxed corporate atmosphere that values accomplishment over appearance of work (I can surf the internet all day at work as long as I get my project done on time). I think the difference between us and most worker-hating corporations is that we are a Fed Funded R&D Corp, which is essentially a non-profit.

We are also hiring...
My team specifically is looking for a spacecraft trajectory and dynamics person with some coding experience. I even get a major bonus for referring people. The catch is that you have to be a US Citizen.

I understand this burnout... (1)

veganopolis (630667) | about 9 years ago | (#13654712)

it happened to me a while ago. And I got out of IT all together for a while. Right now I am working like a dog, back in IT, saving as much money as I can. The simple satisfaction I get from beating a challenging video game helps a lot. It is the satisfaction of completing something that does it. But I do feel your pain...

My Experience (2, Insightful)

OctoberSky (888619) | about 9 years ago | (#13654723)

I was in a sales job that I absolutely hated. I would do anything I could while there to keep my mind off work, while I was working! I would call my friends, drive around aimlessly and just day dream. Worst part was not only did I hate the job, I had to commute an hour every morning. It was against the normal traffic flow, so just a straight 70 miles north of my city.

I quit that job to take my current position which I really enjoy. I don't have to commute more than 15 mins. I don't have to put in overtime. I don't have to worry about job security, and I don't get paid shit, but the benefits are amazing.

I was on track to make $55,000 at my old job, but like I said I hated it, had I tried I would have been on track to make closer to $80,000. I now make $32,000 and am so much happier. Best part is I get to look at Slashdot all day while sitting in my office. Seriously, look at my previous posts, I make 90% of them between 8:30am to 4:00pm.

P.S. I ride the bus to work, no one in their right mind would do that unless they are happy with thier jobs. Or one of the hippies who ride with me.

When do you call it a job? (1)

foolinator (611098) | about 9 years ago | (#13654733)

Most programming positions do pay a lot. As a programmer for the last 6 years, and remembering learning through college - I'd say work is way better than college. I realize at times (most of the time actually), my work is real boring.
However, when I think about what I did before this - office assistance and waiting on tables - I begin to realize that a lot of times us programmers become spoiled.
Granted, most of the time we deserve to be spoiled. A lot of work we do fires a lot of people who have unskilled labor, saving a company millions. But there does come a point where we have to realize that yes, it can suck at times, but sometimes you have to suck it up and just do the job.
I can see why people get burned out, but the programming field is becoming more and more competitive. I think the dot-com days of bringing the dog to work, free soda 24x7, super benefits, frequent promotions (who WASN'T a VP in 1999?), and just "heads down" coding without the headaches of knowing the business are numbered.
Perhaps I'm playing devil's advocate, but where is the point we have to suck it up and just do the work without running around like a spoiled brat? I think in the future we're going to compete with countries that pay their programmers A LOT less, so our work will have to become A LOT HARDER for keeping in line with competition.
How I miss 1999..

Yes They Exist! (1)

esme (17526) | about 9 years ago | (#13654745)

Yes, companies and non-profit employers exist that care about their employees. I work for a university for exactly that reason -- much higher respect for work-life balance, quality of life, advancement, training, etc. And not having to worry about being laid off at any moment helps, too.

But it's not just universities. I've seen rankings of top companies based on their family-friendly policies. These are things like flexible work arrangements, good benefits, low overtime, etc. I don't know for sure, but I'd wager that the companies that rank high on these lists do so because they've decided it's better to invest in their employees and keep them happy.

Of course, company-wide policies are only part of the picture. Your vacation time and flexible work arrangements are only as good as your boss's willingness to let you exercise them. So I'd definitely add a question or two about quality-of-life issues to your list of questions you ask prospective employers. I know that I consider it a very good sign when applicants ask these kinds of questions.


Hands down, happiness wins (2, Interesting)

billdar (595311) | about 9 years ago | (#13654754)

I'm all about the happiness/contentment. I've worked in the worst conditions: slave hours, late paychecks, intrusive checks, back stabbing co-workers, and flat out vicious bosses.

Got lucky switching to a new industry at about the same pay in a less expensive town in California, and never looked back. The work is stimulating and pretty much everyone is within my age and socio-economic group. The work is more service based, so I get out of the office quite a bit and get to interact with customers. For a mid-size company, everyone pulls their own weight to just get the work done.

No time cards, just need to get the work done on time and to the customer satisfication. It is great. Get a couple days ahead? Get a couple guys together and go golphing.

After 2 years working here, I've gotten about a dozen job offers. 3 of them for double my current salary. Funk that. I'll just be able to afford $500 loafers to kick myself with after recieving my first TPS report.

Answer to your question (4, Insightful)

bernywork (57298) | about 9 years ago | (#13654767)

Is it really better working for a company that cares about your satisfaction? Are there any companies like that and (more importantly) are they hiring?

Yes, yes, and just to add it another time for good measure YES!

Job satisfaction is a huge one on my priority list, it should be on your employers list, but most of the time it won't be. It's a shame that it works this way, but that's life I guess. I am self motivated normally because what I do the people who I work for can see the benefits of what I am trying to do. I also have a very good working relationship with them so if I need money for budgets or someone out of my way to do things, it's all very easy to organise. This means when I have to work two or three weeks straight and pull 12 - 14 hours days for that period I know that taking time off afterwards to see family / friends won't even be questioned. Anything else that I need during that time will also be taken care of without question too.

It all comes down to the person / people who you report to, some people just aren't adept at keeping people happy by doing all those little things that keep staff. Most of the time, it's usually other members who care more and make your boss do things. I know that I bought a lot of alcohol (Bottles of wine, champagne) pens and other small gifts for staff. I managed to get one of our staff members sent away to a resort with one of her friends for a weekend away after finishing a project.

A lot of the time I find it's all about the relationship you have with the people that you report to, if you can see them as friends and they respect you for what you are doing, then all problems seem to fade away. If you are consistently not seeing eye-to-eye on things, I would definitely move somewhere else.

Just to let you know as well, from having managed teams before, and people that have been unhappy and going to leave, the company policy before was just to give them a pay rise and that would make them stay. Only problem with that is none of the issues about WHY that person is unhappy have been resolved. In two or three months they will want to leave again. Usually it comes down to job appreciation and giving them challenges to keep them thinking. If you do this I have seen people work for a lot less because they actually enjoy their work. When people are happy it's very very easy to correlate between their performance at work as well.

Employers like this do exist, but it's just a case of finding them. I would find out what makes you happy and ask questions about this in your interviews to see if the company that you could be working for is really what you are after.

No seriously, please twist the knife some more. (2, Funny)

radiotyler (819474) | about 9 years ago | (#13654775)

In her book Overcoming Job Burnout, Dr. Beverly Potter defines burnout as "a destruction of motivation caused by feelings of powerlessness.

Thanks for that REALLY. You've just described my eight years in the workforce, and the way every pointed-haired boss I had used to take control over my life for at least eight hours a day.

Work. Do your job well. Leave your work at the office. Go home. Rinse. Repeat.

It's just that easy folks; if a chubby, 24 year old tattooed jackass like me can figure that one out, anyone can. I don't see anything really groundbreaking in this article, but if it keeps you from stealing MY stapler, by all means, read on. Or maybe go to Amazon [] and buy one of the 5 or so books she quoted from.

Suck it up... (1)

mslinux (570958) | about 9 years ago | (#13654781)

Earn as much money as you can... legally. Save as much as you can, and when you can afford it, retire. Life isn't about 'being happy now' it's about playing the game right, so one day you can tell everyone to fuck-off and then go and 'be really happy'.

It never ceases to amaze me how people piss-away their income on cars, gadgets, software, jewelry, etc... it reminds me of how white Europeans gave shiny beads and pretty rocks to native Americans for their land and food. Your income is valauble... that's why so many people try to convince you to give it to them (cell phone bills, car payments, etc).

Bring down the big bucks and then drop out of the rat race.

Rule #1 : You're not lucky you have a job. (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 9 years ago | (#13654789)

Sorry but I hate that line "You're lucky if you have a job".

If you don't position yourself for the market then move. It isn't a bad economy, we have had near constant rates with small fluctuations up and down. I know of only ONE person I regulary talk with who doesn't have a job. He is busy busting his ass learning something that will make him money. In the mean time he takes low skill jobs until he gets the job he needs. Fortunately for him his wife went through this a few years back; web designer; so he knows what to do.

If your feeling lucky you have a job your probably miserable too. It is up to you. No one is going to give you a job. You don't deserve one. If you hate your job then move on. Can't? Then learn a skill which will let you. Oh, finally, try thinking outside the box. That means if your not happy at your current programming job and weren't at the previous then perhaps it isn't the job for you. It might make a good hobby. Don't beat yourself into being what you think is expected of you.

Are they hiring: (1)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | about 9 years ago | (#13654794)

Well, if they are hiring, it's obviously going to be because they're growing, and not because they have heavy turnover.

Working for a narcisist is a dumb idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654799)

No matter what the pay is, if you're working for a narcissist 9 times out of 10 you are just a pawn in their short term scam that will last until the investors find out. Then there will be lawsuits and threats and a lot of intimidation and ugliness that will invariably waste your time, all of which you have nothing to gain from. The best indiciator of full blown narcissism is extreme micro-management, a tendency toward promoting ridiculous business ideas that don't make money, paranoid thinking and wanting to explain ones vision to you, from the beginning, over and over again.

Are there any companies like that? (1)

fbg111 (529550) | about 9 years ago | (#13654812)

Is it really better working for a company that cares about your satisfaction? Are there any companies like that and (more importantly) are they hiring?"

Yes, the one you start and run yourself. That's one of the great things about being a developer, it's a skill along the lines of a profession, not unlike engineers, architects, lawyers, and doctors. You're not dependent on a corporation hiring you, the way managers and other business types are, for your livelihood. You have the ability to hang out your own shingle and work for yourself. Dad always used to tell me that growing up, but I didn't realize the value of it till I'd worked for a few years.

Burnout? Not Burnout! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654814)

I've always thought of burnout as being tired of the actual job you are doing.
i.e. If I look at another page of code I'll go crazy.
i.e. If I have to cook another hamburger I'll vomit.

The reasons listed in the blurb "lack of the sense of accomplishment, working for a narcissistic boss, and a conflict between the employers and employee's values" are things that prevent you from doing your job. It is not burnout but a frenzied state of frustration from all of these things. i.e. We could ship a great product if it weren't for the asshole bosses ripping off their shareholders.

Thoughts on this scenario?? (1)

hatch815 (917921) | about 9 years ago | (#13654828)

I recently have been extended a job offer from a internet search company _insert_name_here_. I will be part of the engineering team of one of thier more recent rollouts. I am extremely excited about the opportunity, what (who) it will expose me to, what I will learn and where I will be (and can go) with my career path. However, I will be taking a 20% pay cut and moving from a much lower cost of living area to a higher one. I will also be joining the ranks of the development team, whereas now I am part of the decision making team and manage a group of 3 IT team members. Where I am now is great in terms of responsibility, interacting with the business direction of the company and having a high amount of say of what needs to be done, timelines, and resources that we can expend to make it happen. I will definately miss some of those freedoms/responsibilities, but on the other hand I am at the top of any movement within the organization both vertically and laterally. The job stays engaging and challenging, but it has lost some of its charm. I am torn, I know this is a great career move, but is it wrong to take a cutback in pay and move back to being part of the minions as opposed to be part of the management team? Any suggestions?

Find some place nice to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654839)

I work at a university doing system administration and development. At 43k, it's my lowest paying job ever since I graduated from College. Recently, an old employer offered me 65k to come back and work for them.

They were a nice company and generally good people. However, the work was not particularly interesting. We had virtually no contact with the end customers so we got virtually no direct feedback on how much our work helped people. The only direction for development came from managers.

At my present job, I get to do all kinds of things and help out all kinds of people. My contributions are visible and I'm in direct contact with many of the people I help. Perhaps more importantly, the job is about helping people as opposed to helping the stock holders become super uber rich. As one of only a few IT personnel, my voice is much stronger.

I still work at the university.

We have it easy (1)

bobalu (1921) | about 9 years ago | (#13654842)

Every time I get into a hissy fit over what project I get assigned to and think about pursuing my inner gas-attendant, I get remind myself that I spend their yearly salary in car payments and think nothing of it.

Not to mention that bitchin' new HD setup.

Perspective is everything.

well said companies do not care ... (0, Flamebait)

dindi (78034) | about 9 years ago | (#13654854)

O.K. some care so you do not die in some nasty thing they caused and then thay have to pay your family a fortune ...

Big companies will replace anyone in a snap
Big companies will put you away in a snap
Big companies just want to make more $$ and are ran by shareholders who do not give a crap about YOU.

Small companies cannot afford to care about you many times, and as soon as they grow they care less and less ...

So I am better broke sometimes run my small businesses, do some this-and-that here-and-there and be happy that I do not rely on a company of any size...

Now you might think that I am some failure being fired from somewhere, but nop ... I worked at many places, smaller bigger and never got fired but always burned out and left by myself

OK I got fired once on the first week from my 2nd workplace, but that guy who I ended up holding to the wall by his neck shouting at him was there for a much longer time :) - and it was a mistake but I do not take idiots too well when I am working....

I heard a big soda company (better do not name them) firing trusted, respected employees just days before bonuses, and in cases just before retirement just to save a few $$ and to put people on the street who will retire in powerty ....
that is how comapnies care ....

So in other words I would go for the money then quit before it is too late, or would go for a job that is pleasant and bearable - at the end you spend 8hours a day there (and 1-2 hours commuting)...

I mean your job is half your life. If it sucks your life sucks, and my life should not suck for money, I better be poor and with a smile on my face

Rare (1)

kentrel (526003) | about 9 years ago | (#13654864)

I think companies that really care for your well being are few and far between, and it's up to you to find your own way of satisfying your goals and accomplishments.

Too many people I know blame their managers, their company, the government, (or: insert authority figure here) for their problems with motivation and lack of achievement, but ultimately when you complain about that you are wasting time that you could spend solving it, and the more you complain about it the more you reinforce it in your mind.

I've found the most successful people I know are people that never complain, and just get on with it, or find ways of solving their problems, and they never blame anyone. Sure it feels good once in a while to blame someone, and it may even be their fault, but even so, they're never going to dig you out of your hole. It's always up to you. If you find a company that really looks out for you (like Tom Cruise's company in THE FIRM!!) then good for you, you're very very lucky.

It's the supervisor. Stupid. (1)

Safe Sex Goddess (910415) | about 9 years ago | (#13654868)

It's not the company, it's the supervisor.

This is really about employee engagement, something every employer should be working towards. Gallup has done research on this and they've found that organizations that have some of the best employee management practices also have some of the worst practices. It really boils down to individual supervisors.

And as a union member, I want myself and my fellow employees to have the best supervisors out there. I'm all for measuring employee engagement using Gallup's 12 questions to identify supervisors that could use some training on how to be a good supervisor. Of course, if this happened, then we wouldn't need unions:-) []

As in it's the Economy. Stupid. (1)

Safe Sex Goddess (910415) | about 9 years ago | (#13654883)

Just to clarify, I'm not calling the poster stupid. This is just a play on a quote from the first Clinton election.

The Scientific way (2, Funny)

Alan (347) | about 9 years ago | (#13654878)

According to in depth research using googlefight, pay wins [] .

Left the US, and loving it! (4, Interesting)

Anubis333 (103791) | about 9 years ago | (#13654879)

I would like to say that I left the USA and went to work for one of the best Game Developers in the EU: and I f*cking love this company. They seem to honestly care about the workers. We get ~25 days paid vacation, and OT is compensated with paid vacation days. (which is unheard of in the US) When they wanted to make a move to a larger city, they actually polled the workers to determine which city to move to! Sure, it's a Game Developer, so we stay long hours to finish things for deadlines, but it's so much nicer when you are working on a Sunday, being compensated; you get an email asking what you would like for lunch, and the CFO later walks around handing out ice cream bars to people saying "thanks for coming in on sunday, we will try to only ask you to come in on weekends when it is really needed." It really makes me want whats best for the company as a whole, and I would stay longer hours and work harder to make a better game and do better for the company I enjoy working at.

A company who cares (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654890)

SRA International [] a company who genuinely cares about it's employees. Their motto: "Honesty and Service". It would be nice if there were more companies out there like them.

I work there so am posting as AC because it might be concidered an ethics violation for me to make a post on a public forum.
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