Poll: Workplace Dissatisfaction Running High

September 30, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Things are pretty ugly at work for lots of working professionals, according to new research.

A news release said the study by New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies found that 24% of respondents reported being “not too” or “not at all” satisfied with their current job. That is the highest level recorded in five years.

Over half – 56% – said they want greater fulfillment, which outpolled money motivations by almost a 2-to-1 ratio, according to the announcement. Some 32% it was “very important.” The survey also found that six in 10 professionals now expect at least three, if not four or five, different careers during their lifetimes.

“Our first post-9/11 survey found that young, well-educated New Yorkers are now, more than ever, dissatisfied with their current jobs, seeking more meaningful and fulfilling careers, and expecting greater career fluctuation,” said NYU SCPS Associate Dean Dorothy Durkin, the school’s research director. “Our research confirms a five-year trend that satisfaction with current careers is decreasing. And while earning a living was obviously important to the respondents, the type of work that is done trumped all other motivations for career change or growth.”

The majority – 56% – of those NYU SCPS students surveyed this year said a “more fulfilling role or responsibilities” is what they want from their work life. These motivations were followed at a distant second by “greater earning potential” – cited by 34% of respondents as an “extremely” important career motivation, and then by job security, cited by 26% of respondents.

This year’s study was conducted by email during the spring 2004, among a 438-person sample comprised of New York City-area working professionals with at least a bachelor’s degree.