Are You Unhappily Married to Your Job?

Last Updated Mar 19, 2010 10:25 AM EDT

Job Security Trumps Job Satisfaction? Twenty-somethings are generally stereotyped as a free-wheeling lot in both the romance and employment departments, lightly flitting from one option to another to see what they like without feeling the need to commit to any single partner or company. But if young people are in line with the latest trends, more and more may be finding themselves unhappily married to their jobs.
The recent edition of the biennial Global Workforce Study from professional services company Towers Watson paints a dreary picture of more and more workers seeking safety and security in a job, despite being less than satisfied with their positions. The survey of more than 20,000 employees around the world found that,
We've moved from the "free agent nation" concept hyped as a new approach to work just a decade ago. A startling eight out of ten respondents want to settle into a job, with roughly half saying they want to work for a single company their entire career and the rest wanting to work for no more than two to three companies. This move toward workplace "nesting" is no doubt influenced by a perceived dearth of job opportunities, coupled with US employees' lower appetite for the risks inherent in changing jobs.
With such a large percentage of respondents looking to remain with their current employer, you'd assume they see a bright future with the company. But that wasn't necessarily the case -- 51 percent said there are no career advancement opportunities in their current role. And this sense that those looking to stick with their current company aren't necessarily happy there is supported by recent numbers from the Conference Board that found only 45 percent of those people were satisfied with their jobs, down from 61 percent in 1987.

Is this a temporary retreat into secure but less than thrilling positions? Will a brighter recovery herald a wave of work divorces and a flood of relieved job seekers looking to change gigs as the pent up dissatisfaction is released?

(Image of just married car by Pelodia, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.