Workplace Purgatory: Hating the Job, But Reluctant to Quit

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Overworked and poorly paid, today’s workers increasingly wish they could march up to the boss and drop the classic line, “Take this job and shove it.” Given high unemployment rates and the uncertainties in the economy, however, the mantra is more likely: Take any job and suck it up.

A new survey from human-resources consultants Mercer LLC puts the state of affairs bluntly:

Half of all U.S. employees are really not happy.

Roughly one-third of workers are seriously considering leaving their current gigs, up from 23% in 2005. In addition, another 21% of workers say they’re staying put at their jobs, even though their workplaces are pretty awful, with poor management and bad employee morale.

Among the reasons workers are dissatisfied:

*68% rate their benefits as good or very good, down from 75% in 2005

*53% are satisfied with their base down, down from 58% in 2005

*42% say promotions go to the most-qualified workers, up from 29% in 2005

As a result of these conditions — and the fact that no one is surprised anymore when employers lay off workers by the thousands — loyalty to employers is rapidly disappearing, reports the Arizona Republic:

“I don’t think that there is such a thing as loyalty anymore,” said John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger Gray and Christmas Inc., a global outplacement firm. Loyalty has been replaced by what Challenger calls “commitment.”

“Loyalty is a thing of the past, in terms of company and employee relationships, because companies can’t promise a long-term job and people think of themselves as free agents,” Challenger said.

At the same time workers are miserable and feel no attachment to their jobs, few employees are bold enough to actually leave those jobs lately. The “job hoppers” have transformed into “career monogamists” for as long as their company keeps paying them salaries.

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