The Best Job in the Government? Where Does Your Job Stand?

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Corey McCarren 8 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #158575

    Terrence Hill

    Careercast just released their ranking of 200 jobs from the best to the worst. They used four factors to determine the ranking:

    1. Work Environment
    2. Stress
    3. Physical Demands
    4. Hiring Outlook

    Luckily for me, Human Resources Manager is ranked #3! I have to agree that my job is certainly fulfilling. #1 is a Software Engineer. #200 (worst) is Lumberjack. Take a minute and try to find your job (or the job that you want) in the rankings.

    What is your job? What makes it great? What makes it not so great? What could make your job better?

    When I am able to do something to help others to succeed in their jobs, I am hopeful. However, these moments are rare. My job would be so much better if I could make a difference in others’ lives more often.

  • #158601

    Corey McCarren

    As odds are I’ll be doing online marketing, I’m at #8. I’d say improvement would be higher physical demands, online marketing is clearly a little too sedentary!

  • #158599

    Terrence Hill

    The government could sure use marketing expertise to counteract the negative press we have been inundated with lately. Unfortunately, I don’t think the government has any marketing position. The closest job is probably our public affairs folks. The hip agencies call them “New Media Specialists.” Sedentary work is an issue with most of the top positions, including mine. We just need to balance our work with fitness activities.

  • #158597

    Mark Hammer

    In our Canadian federal employee survey in past years, public servants were asked if they thought there were “promotion opportunities” within their present agency, given their training, skills, and experience, and also asked if they thought there were promotion opportunities withn the PS overall.

    I took all the various occupational groups and ranked them according to the proportion of people in each group who answered those questions positively, as well as with respect to the difference between how they answered the one vs the other. At the one end were those looking outward (more opportunity outside than inside), and at the other, were those looking inward (less opportunity out there than in my present agency). You could easily see that at the one end of the list were people in rather generic job families, that virtually every agency has some of. So executives, project managers, auditors, finance people, admin support, HR, analysts, etc. At the other end were highly specialized people like veterinarians and dentists, and in the middle were a lot of blue collar and technical groups.

    To some extent, career satisfaction was related to these indices of “hope”, but there are so many other factors, including precisely what Terry mentions. To that end, I recommend Adam Grant’s terrific paper in the Academy of Management Review (2007, Vol 32, pp393-417), entitled “RELATIONAL JOB DESIGN AND THE MOTIVATION TO MAKE A PROSOCIAL DIFFERENCE”

  • #158595

    My job isn’t on there (unless you could consider me a sociologist of sorts), but my wife’s role as a dietitian is #17.

  • #158593

    Corey McCarren

    Yes, I’ve steered away from looking at work in the public sector any how, USAJobs just seems to make it so much more difficult than it is to apply in the private sector. I think the fact that the workplace is so sedentary is why the government discounting gym memberships to federal employees is a great standard.

  • #158591

    I love lists, and I thought this one was entertaining … although I am not sure how accurate it is. I think I would put the stress level of high school teacher much higher — but I also come from a family of teachers, so I might be biased. 😉

  • #158589

    William Lim

    The fact that attorney is in the top half of the list (#87) instead of somewhere in the bottom 25 indicates to me a flawed methodology. Or am I being too cynical about my job?

  • #158587

    Mark Hammer

    I don’t think you’re being too cynical, but you’re focussing too much on your own definition of “best” and overlooking how they define it: a definition which includes physical stress (not much for lawyers unless that’s an awfully big briefcase you lug around) and hiring outlook, which is pretty darn good.

  • #158585

    Steve Ressler

    Ha 🙂

  • #158583


    It is interesting that a whole segment of public employees was left out in this survey – Park Naturalists, Rangers, Interpreters. There were biologists and conservationists but that does not represent people who work as front-line educators and managers for National Parks, Monuments, Museums and so on.

  • #158581


    There are also such educators in the USFWS, Forestry, EPA, so on.

  • #158579

    Mark Hammer

    Rule #1 about surveys: who you asked is often just as important as what you asked or what they said.

  • #158577

    Deb Green

    I’m mostly amused by the responses people made on the site to the list. Most of them feel it’s out of whack with stress and physical demands of the job. Interesting, nonetheless.

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