Monday, October 29, 2012

Jobs that make the world a worse place

Jobs That Make the World a Worse Place
A whopping 38% of workers in one industry say their jobs make other people suffer.

Fast food workers. Telemarketers. Bartenders. These professions have the highest share of employees who say their jobs make the world a worse place, according to a survey by

Fast food worker

Workers who say their job makes the world a worse place: 38.4%
Many fast food workers aren't feeling so good about handing you those greasy burgers and fries. In a survey conducted by PayScale that asked employees, 'Does your job make the world a better place?," 38.4% of fast food workers said their job was actually making the world a worse place.

That's the highest percentage for any of the jobs included in the survey and is well above the average of less than 1% across all jobs.

Why are fast food workers feeling so low? It's likely that some workers feel as if they are contributing to the country's worsening obesity epidemic, said Katie Bardaro, lead economist at PayScale. "A lot of fast food isn't healthy for you, and [fast food workers] are continuing to feed it to people even though they know that it's not," she said.

Gaming dealer

Workers who say their job makes the world a worse place: 17.6%
Watching gamblers throw their money away weighs on the consciences of some casino dealers, whose job often involves dealing the hands for games like poker and blackjack, distributing the winnings and collecting the losers' chips at the end of a game.

"They're supporting peoples' vices," said PayScale's Bardaro. "They may feel they're making the world a worse place by taking money away from people who often can't afford to lose that money."

Nearly 18% of gaming dealers say their job makes the world a worse place and almost half said their job doesn't do anything to make the world a better place.


Workers who say their job makes the world a worse place: 9.4%
Interrupting family dinners with phone calls about products that people often don't need may lead some telemarketers to question the worthiness of their line of work.

More than 9% of telemarketers surveyed by PayScale said they thought their job made the world a worse place -- well above the industry wide average of less than 1%.

"Apart from door-to-door salespeople, telemarketers may be perceived as one of the most annoying sales professions," said Joel Garfinkle, career coach and author of "Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level." "They enter your home -- via the telephone -- uninvited."

If you represent or sell a product that you believe actually has value for consumers, however, the job could become more meaningful, he said.

TV newscast director

Workers who say their job makes the world a worse place: 8.1%
Producing news about natural disasters, mass murders and economic meltdowns can take a toll on some TV newscast directors, who often work in control rooms and make sure everything runs smoothly.

"They're [sometimes] highlighting the bad things in the world because that's what gets the best ratings -- often times stories about things like gossip and violence," said PayScale's Bardaro.


Workers who say their job makes the world a worse place: 6.7%
Getting people drunk may be fun, but some bartenders don't find it to be the most meaningful career.

"Does alcohol and the related downfalls of alcohol -- including drunk driving and alcoholism -- make the world a better place? For many bartenders, they may think not," said career coach Garfinkle.

But many bartenders actually have more meaningful jobs than they realize, since they can often act as therapist figures for customers who let their guard downs and open up to them, said Garfinkle. "It doesn't always occur to them that that interaction could really make a difference in a person's life."

Loan collector

Workers who say their job makes the world a worse place: 4.9%
Spending your days chasing down people who haven't paid their loans can be emotionally exhausting.

"A loan collector may feel guilty when trying to collect from customers who have fallen on hard financial times," said career coach Garfinkle.

Almost 5% of loan collectors say their jobs negatively impact the world, while another 23% say they aren't having a positive impact.

Fashion designer

Workers who say their job makes the world a worse place: 4.9%
Does creating the latest fashions for the runway have a positive impact on the world? Some fashion designers say "no."

In fact, about 5% of designers say their job actually makes the world a worse place. Meanwhile, another 36% said their line of work isn't doing anything to improve the world either.

"A lot of people have issues with body image, and fashion designers can make that worse in a lot of ways," said PayScale's Bardaro. "[Some of them] are designing clothes for models that don't represent the typical woman's body ... so you have people with eating disorders and low confidence because they can't wear the clothes they see in a magazine."

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