Weighty PhDs Tip the Balance

Ignorance is bliss. Knowledge is power. Does being powerful make you well? Not always.

According to a new global survey whose US-based findings were released by GfK Custom Research North America, U.S. employees with PhDs were both most engaged (38 percent highly engaged) with the highest levels of stress about job security (30 percent), work-related stress (29 percent) and the teeter-tottering-est crowd when it comes to work-life balance (33 percent). The more you know, the more people come to rely on you to know it….and more.

Perhaps not surprisingly, those with master’s degrees worry more frequently about stress (39 percent) while their work-life balance seems less of a concern (25 percent) than their PhD buddies.

It appears respondents with less than a high school education were least likely to be engaged in their work, which comes as no surprise. Only one in four claimed they were highly engaged. Interestingly, age and industry played a large part in engagement levels as well. As I have written elsewhere about older workers, they tend to the most engaged crowd (35 percent were ‘highly engaged’).

The top four most engaged employees came from the following industries:

  • construction (41 percent)
  • professional & business services (34 percent)
  • information technology (33 percent)
  • public utilities (32 percent)

The least engaged came from the following industries:

  • retail (40 percent)
  • real estate (38 percent)
  • public administration (38 percent)
  • education (32 percent)
  • manufacturing (31 percent).

Managers (35 percent) showed more engagement than the managed (21 percent) while those who manage managers showed the greatest level of engagement (60 percent).

I guess we really do like telling people what to do!

Knowledge workers and the ‘creative class’ are succumbing to the pressures of today’s world. We need to rescue ourselves by injecting slow and by setting an example for everyone else. Engagement is good. So is disengaging every now and then.

Sometimes it isn’t what or who you know, but how you do things that makes all the difference in the world.

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1 Comment

  1. Willow

    July 9, 2011 at 12:22 am

    After 30 years in the real estate business, I know stress…being responsible for the most expensive asset most people own in a declining market!

    But I disengage from the stress with frequent “vacations”, even if it means getting up from my chair and walking around it five times. I know this market is not my fault. I know I must give the best advice I can. The rest is up to God.

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