Of all the horrible jobs to have, it seems that marketing and IT are the worst. CareerBliss recently surveyed thousands of people and identified the 10 jobs with the highest levels of employee unhappiness. I expected to see yucky and dangerous jobs on the list: rodent abatement; sewer maintenance; oil rig diving and the like. So imagine my surprise when I saw the list populated with many of the roles I’ve played and been close to in my own clean and happy little world! Here’s the list:
1. Director of Information Technology (“nepotism, cronyism, disrespect for workers”)
2. Director of Sales and Marketing (“lack of direction from upper management and an absence of room for growth”)
3. Product Manager (“the work is boring and there’s a lot of clerical work”)
4. Senior Web Developer (“employers are unable to communicate coherently, and lack an understanding of the technology”)
5. Technical Specialist (“treated with a palpable level of disrespect, lack of communication from upper management, and input was not taken seriously)
6. Electronics Technician (“too little control, work schedule, lack of accomplishment, no real opportunity for growth, peers have no motivation to work hard, no say in how things are done, hostility from peers towards other employees”)
7. Law Clerk (“hours are long and grueling, and the clerk is subject to the whims of sometimes mercurial personalities, a median salary of $39,780)
8. Technical Support Analyst (“may be required to travel at a moment’s notice, sometimes on holidays or weekends”, and “You can do better, really.”)
9. CNC Machinist (“no room for advancement”)
10. Marketing Manager (“lack of direction”, “tolerable,” “It’s a job.”)
Life as a marketing agency partner is great and I love it. Admittedly I work in a non-political environment with smart and funny people who have the grace to always refill the coffee pot. But I’ve also held jobs and roles equivalent to numbers 1, 2, 3, and 10 on the list and worked very closely with 4, 5, 6, and 8 in the corporate world for more years than I care to admit. Honestly, I was happy and I thought my colleagues were too (except for the disgruntled guy with the guns in tech support who shall remain nameless).
I’ve always been excited by technology, software innovation, the magic that makes the internet and my printers work (I’m not a complete geek). The scar where I cut myself pulling cables under the data center floor healed, so the IT part was good. As a product manager I treated my products as children – nurturing them, advocating for them, trying to get them out the door on time with enough features to form a covering fabric of modesty. Practicing marketing is a passion and I have always been as happy as Larry the Cable Guy to “Git ‘r done” – default direction is to find folks and sell stuff.
Truly I am baffled that, of all the things that can make human beings unhappy, my career path accounts for so much of it in the workplace. The article by Daniel Burkszpan at CNBC is definitely worth a read and I’d love to hear your views on what makes a great and lousy job in technology marketing. By the way, chocolate makes everything seem better!
About the Author
Agnes Lamont is an accomplished marketer of IT products and a partner at Marketingsage, a PR and lead generation firm that specializes in marketing data storage, data management and enterprise software products. She can be reached by email at blog [at] marketingsage.net. Fellow marketers and IT professionals are invited to join her network on LinkedIn and to subscribe to this blog (see sidebar).