If you could design your dream job, what would it look like? If you could imagine the worst job you could have, what would it include?
People who responded to a recent CareerCast poll that asked these questions gave answers that are interesting, if not always enlightening. Sometimes they even contradict the results of CareerCast’s previous Jobs Rated Report for 2016.
CareerCast tells us that their poll was, “not a controlled survey, and opening up responses to individual reader interpretation generated dozens of different answers across subjects. Despite the lack of scientific results, the 369 total surveys are quite illuminating.”
Indeed they are. Employers who are looking to fill positions might pay attention to what qualities and characteristics are associated with the best and the worst jobs. Keep in mind, however, that some of these responses reflect a less-than-educated understanding of what a particular job entails.
The Five Best Jobs
Consider, for example, the five Most-Recurring Best Jobs:
- Physician (GP)
- Data Scientist
Now, I should be happy to have the Number One Best Job. I’ve been a blogger for three years. The Next Phase Blog has nearly 700 posts and over 165,000 page views. It’s not, as I have said before, The Huffington Post but it is doing okay and growing every month. I can tell you that, as a blogger, the commute is excellent and the working conditions just fine. The coffee and snacks vary in quantity but there’s pretty much zero stress. Unfortunately, the compensation is also zero. Blogging is what I do for fun, not profit. No one has offered to run ads on The Next Phase and, likewise, no one has offered to buy it for big bucks. That means it’s not a job at all; it’s an avocation.
Also, here’s a different perspective on the Number Two Best Job: Last week a friend who is a physician told us that he would never recommend the practice of medicine to someone looking for a good career because of intrusive insurance companies, time-consuming government regulations, and extensive paperwork. All this takes time away from treating patients and causes him to put in extra hours on administrative tasks. Keep in mind, though, that this is a doctor for whom all these things differ from the way he was accustomed to practicing medicine. A new doctor, one who is more comfortable with technology, adept at using it and accustomed to multi-tasking, might not find such activities burdensome.
The Five Worst Jobs
Next, here are the respondents’ picks for the Five Worst Jobs:
Most Recurring Worst Jobs
- Physician (GP)
- Garbage Collector
- Assembly Line
Now, I’m right there with them on telemarketer and garbage collector. I have worked assembly line positions (cookies, greeting cards, packaged food) and those are pretty bad, too, but not because of the actual effort involved. They are bad because the working conditions are terrible and companies treat assembly line workers as if they were cogs in a machine instead of people.
In the cookie factory, for example, we had to keep up with the conveyor belt regardless of how fast it was going and whether we were packaging sticky sweets or fragile items like sugar wafers. We were reprimanded if too many cookies ran off the end of the belt. We had to raise our hands to get permission to go to the bathroom, where there was no soap and only cold water. The pay was, as you may have guessed, also terrible. Companies looking to hire line workers, pay attention!
Oddly, a doctor who’s a General Practitioner appears on this list as well. Wait, what? How could that happen? Here are the factors that went into the selections:
You can clearly see how subjective they are. Many people obviously felt that being responsible for the lives of others was a bad thing while doctors, nurses and EMTs might think it’s an exciting and rewarding part of the job. Tight deadlines were at the top of the “bad things” list but a CEO, hedge fund investor, or news reporter could find them energizing. Also, opinions on a job that’s physically demanding might differ between an accountant and a cowboy or an editor and a lobster fisherman. No one likes bad working conditions and poor wages, though. Ditto dead-end jobs with no opportunity for change or advancement. Employers take note
Keeping all that in mind, what are the top dream jobs? Here are four:
Most Recurring Dream Jobs
Again, these are subjective. Knowing what a veterinarian does for a living, particularly a large-animal vet, I would have to disagree with that one. Sticking my arm up to the shoulder into a pregnant cow or horse is not my cup of tea. My stomach lurches if the cat barfs. And I hate math so I’d be a terrible oddsmaker.
CEO makes both the Best and the Dream Jobs lists, presumably because people think that these people are in complete control, make tons of money, get perks not available to anyone else at the company, and work in pretty nice conditions. Mostly all true. But the job can be high stress as well.
So there you have it: the opinions of 369 people on bad-better-best. How about you? What would your dream job be?
Note: CareerCast.com, created by Adicio, is a job search portal that offers extensive local, niche and national job listings from across North America; job-hunting, career-management and HR-focused editorial content; and videos and blogs; and provides recruiters with the ability to post jobs directly to more than 800 niche career sites. CareerCast.com also compiles the Jobs Rated Report (http://www.jobsrated.com), where 200 jobs across North America are ranked based on detailed analysis of specific careers factors.