In mid-twentieth century America, a good job meant a stable job. Staying in a job for decades was desirable and even admirable. But today’s workers in the developed world want more than stability, a good benefits package and predictable wage increases.
Browse the latest “Top 100 Companies to Work For” article by any given business publication and you’ll see criteria
such as “Work/Life Balance,” “Office Culture,” “Diversity” and “Family Friendly.” Workers not only expect jobs to provide a source of income and esteem, but also personal happiness. At consistently top-ranked Google, for example, employees have access to game rooms and free cafeterias and can enjoy free haircuts and subsidized massage sessions on site.
In developing nations, where many more jobs fall into the informal sector, less research has been done to evaluate job satisfaction. Recent research however suggests that even in these countries, income and stability aren’t the defining traits of a good job.
A 2009 study of gender in the workplace
in Latin America, found that women are more likely than men to be funneled into part-time jobs—not necessarily by choice. The study found that both men and women have higher job satisfaction when given full-time jobs. The same study found that “opportunity for progress” was a higher factor in job satisfaction than salary. Another study of self-employed workers
in Chile, in formal and informal sectors, found occupational safety and basic job protections (such as having a written contract) were key factors in job satisfaction.
When it comes to job satisfaction, among both industrialized and developing nations, research would seem to bear out the old adage, “money isn’t everything.”
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One response to this Wiki topic has been received from the JKP's Twitter audience. Twitter user @paquicoperez says to him a good job means a good salary, good boss, location near his home, Saturday and Sundays with his family, stability, safe activitites, and his specialization bingo.