Thursday, July 19, 2007

Four Talking Points

What's the difference between being "confident" in your job prospects and being "happy" in your current job?

Two new studies provide insight and reveal four talking points you can use to discuss the prospects of future happiness in your current job or in one you might be interviewing for.

Average Workers Are Confident

A recent survey of more than 3,000 working adults shows confidence in the U.S. job market. A few key findings:

The Spherion Employee Confidence Index is a monthly gauge of overall worker confidence. The index increased to its highest number since February.

Addition findings reveal the following:

A detailed summary of the Employment Report detailing 12-month trends is available in pdf format.

Tech Executives Are Not Happy

The second study looks at above-average workers -- those who have reached the executive level. Nearly 60% of information technology (IT) executives say they're not satisfied or somewhat unsatisfied with their their jobs. Executives in human resources and finance are considerably happier with their current jobs.

A survey of more than 2,000 executives by ExecuNet, an executive career networking firm, revealed this finding.

So, what's bugging IT leaders? The top job complaints include the following:

Only 9% of all executives cited compensation as a top reason for being unhappy with their jobs.

A summary of these finds is available from InformationWeek. A more detailed Executive Job Market Intelligence Report (pdf) is also available from ExecuNet.

Take Home Message

American workers appear to be happy with the jobs they have and feel confident of finding a new one if they have to. However, the higher one climbs the corporate ladder the more dissatisfied one tends to become.

To minimize your risk of future job dissatisfaction consider introducing these four talking points when interviewing for a new position:

  1. Tell me about opportunities for advancement within this organization.
  2. Provide me with examples of how you challenge employees and encourage them to grow professionally.
  3. Tell me more about the corporate culture within this organization.
  4. Provide me with examples of your personal management style.

Satisfactory responses to these four talking points might reveal whether or not you will be "happy" in the long term with this employer or "confident" that you will be moving on to another opportunity in the near future.

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