Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Restaurant jobs among unhappiest in America

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 10:43 AM

  • Flickr: A Breather

Business Insider, a business/entertainment news website, recently compiled a list of the 10 Unhappiest Jobs in America following a report published by CareerBliss. The report was based on more than 100,000 employee generated user reviews between Feb. 2011 and Jan. 2012. Ratings took into account factors like work-life balance, one's relationship with their boss and co-workers, compensation, growth opportunities, and control over the work that they do daily. The report concluded that security officer, teacher, and registered nurse were all among the most unsatisfying jobs, and made no mention of jobs in the restaurant industry.

Three days later, the author of the article published a second post titled, Actually, These Are The Real 10 Unhappiest Jobs In America. Soon after the publication of the CareerBliss report findings, Business Insider found a similar list compiled by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. After a comparison, the NORC's list was deemed more accurate because results were "based on nearly 200 of the most common occupations in America, instead of based on CareerBliss' user reviews.

According to the NORC's list, food preparers (9), bartenders (4), and servers (2) were all listed among the unhappiest, least satisfying jobs in America. So just how many working Americans does this affect?

The National Restaurant Association reports that 12.9 million Americans work in the restaurant industry. Not to mention that, "[o]ne-half of all adults have worked in the restaurant industry at some point during their lives, and one out of three adults got their first job experience in a restaurant."

That's a lot of potential for unhappiness, especially when considering a recent Time magazine article, Top Chef Dreams: Are Cooking Schools a Rip-Off?. Time cites the Association of Private Sector Colleges & Universities which concludes that "[o]verall enrollment at for-profit trade schools, which include culinary schools, has expanded by about 20% a year for the past two years." For example, the Career Education Corp., a company that operates 17 culinary schools in the U.S., "has seen enrollment increase by more than 46% since 2008," according to spokesman Mark Spencer.

The reality is that many are "sold on the idea of being a chef but wake up to the harsh reality of low-paying line-cook jobs and mountains of debt on graduation." Hence all the unsatisfied food preparers.

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