Do you have the ‘worst’ job?

September 1st, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized


Happy Labor Day! Here in the States, we’re celebrating labor by taking the day off!

However, not everyone loves his or her job, so I have in my right hand, direct from CareerCast.com, today’s category: Ten top worst jobs in America. The company took a look at 200 jobs and ranked them based on a variety of criteria, including “income, outlook, environmental factors, stress and physical demands.” (Of course, my first question was “Am I on the list?” And second, “Where does “survey-taker” rank on the list?”)

So, here are the results:

      10. Flight attendant
      9. Roofer
      8. Mail carrier
      7. Meter reader
      6. Dairy farmer
      5. Oil rig worker
      4. Actor
      3. Enlisted military personnel
      2. Lumber jack

And the worst job in America:

      1. Newspaper reporter

What?! I spent 15 years as a freelance reporter and columnist for a newspaper company (three papers). There was always something brand new to report or comment upon, and I absolutely loved it!. (I would have thought number 1 would have been a proctologist, sewer worker or the highway worker who spends the day scooping up road kill.)

Okay, so the top ten jobs have some negatives: Rude, drunken passengers. Nasty weather and vicious dogs. The paparazzi. Separation from family. And, of course, being shot at (That would be a deal-breaker for me!). But CareerCast noted that newspaper reporters may have the worst job ever “but most still love what they do. They don’t care. They got into the business for a reason.”

I was encouraged, though, by another report at myplan.com: Top 300 Careers With The Highest Job Satisfaction Ratings. (Singers top the list with a 91.7 percent job satisfaction.)

I teach “Freelance Writing,” “Editing” and “Humor Writing at Taylor University. So, I was thrilled that College Professors: Communications ranked number 5 with 79.2 percent job satisfaction.

However, I drop to number 73 as an Author with a 61.8 percent job satisfaction. Huh?! I was shocked to learn that’s significantly lower than Bus Drivers: School at number 32 with a 67.2 satisfaction rate. (There is no way I would want to maneuver a thirty-foot vehicle through traffic with 50 school-aged sociopaths in the back!) Even Middle School Teachers soundly beat authors at number 75 with a 61.6 percent satisfaction. (If you’re a teacher, you have my undying respect!)

I was also encouraged to learn that even though Editors rank 145 with 55.4 percent satisfaction, that’s well above Surgeons who ranked 263 with only 45 percent satisfaction.

It appears that rather than salary and prestige (a surgeon at 263 makes a thousand times more than a college professor at number 5), job satisfaction is much more important. So, here’s my point—actually three.

1. Choose a job that fits your passions and talents. If you’re still exploring your career options, visit Which path is the “right” path?!.

2. Your “job satisfaction” is far more important than some silly list—even if you have what others may consider the “worst” job. I loved having the worst job in America!

3. And do have a wonderful “labor day” doing no labor! What you do is important, so do it to the best of your ability.

© Copyright 2013 James N. Watkins

Related post: Work less, accomplish more
Here are some tips on becoming more productive by—well, you’ll have to listen to find out how! (If you don’t have time for a 30-minute talks, here are the Cliff’s Notes: Managing your time—and sanity.)

What do you love about your job? Please leave a comment below. Thanks!

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