Monday, October 23, 2006


White Collar Ambitions Are Flexible And Ever-Changing

A survey of 2,800 workers conducted by the American Business Collaboration found that goals differ across genders and age groups, suggesting that the ambitions of individual white collar workers are flexible, and will change over time.

For workers less that 30 years old, the most important criteria for job satisfaction are:

1) Advancement for salaried men
2) Meaningful work for salaried women
3) Job security for hourly paid men
4) Benefits for hourly paid women

For workers in their thirties, the criteria are:

1) Flexible work options for salaried men
2) Work/life balance for salaried women
3) Job security for hourly paid men
4) Benefits for hourly paid women

For workers in the forties, the criteria are:

1) Job security for salaried men
2) Opportunity to learn and grow for salaried women
3) Benefits for both hourly paid men and women

The survey also queried participants on their reasons for leaving a job. 49 percent of both sexes cited salary as the main factor, and 25 percent indicated that they are currently thinking about leaving their present jobs for other positions that pay more money.

20 percent would consider leaving their jobs to enhance their job security, and 41 percent would consider leaving their jobs to advance their careers.

Certain obvious inferences can be drawn from the results of this survey. Younger white collar workers are more hopeful, as evinced by the male desire for advancement and the female idealism about "meaningful work". The need for flexible work schedules and better work/life balance - which are, in essence, expressions of the same thing - predominate among white collar workers in their thirties because these are the prime child-rearing years. By their forties, most white collar men already appear to have given up their focus on striving. Like blue collar men in their twenties and thirties, they place "job security" above the need for advancement - which may express a growing alienation from the corporate hierarchy and their dwindling hope about finding a place within it. White collar women, however, still appear to be striving, apparently having resumed some of the idealism they had in their twenties. Judging from these trends, it would seem that both sexes would be more amenable to white collar unionization starting in their thirties - and that men, especially, would be most approachable for recruitment as they reach their forties and their main goals begin to coincide with the traditional goals of blue collar men.

"Study: Job Satisfaction Factors Change Over Decades" from

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