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Thursday January 24th 2019

Teachers and trainers are happiest: Poll (ST 19 Oct)

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Teachers and trainers are happiest: Poll
Job portal also finds civil servants are happier than workers in private sector

By Gabriel Chen

IF YOU want to be happy at work, become a teacher or work in the service sector.

That is the key message that emerges from an online poll of 5,460 working adults conducted by JobsCentral. The job network portal asked respondents across Singapore how satisfied they were with

various aspects of their jobs to produce an overall ‘happiness’ score, with 100 signifying ‘very happy’ and 50 ‘neutral’.

Employees in education and training emerged the happiest of all, with a score of 59.8, followed closely by those in public relations who scored 58.8.

Individuals who work to ensure companies comply with regulations seem to be the least happy with their jobs, with an average score of only 52.9.

The survey found that employees working for the Government are happier than those in the private sector.

From an industry perspective, employees in services – arts, entertainment, recreation and other services – are the most pleased with their jobs with a score of 69, while industries with low scores include the manufacturing sector.

JobsCentral chief executive Lim Der Shing said people who work in the arts and entertainment industry, as well as teachers, have passion for their work.

‘On the other hand, layoffs in certain manufacturing industries and poor company performance this year could be a reason for manufacturing’s lower scores,’ he said.

Ms Annie Yap, founder of human resource consultancy AYP Associates, agreed: ‘In the educational and training sector, very often, they teach for passion, a strong interest to pass on their knowledge to the next generation.’

Mr Renny Yeo, president of the Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation (SMa), admitted the manufacturing sector had been the hardest hit by the recent economic downturn, and that this could have been a key factor in employees feeling less optimistic and secure about their jobs.

However, he remained confident that most SMa employers fostered active staff engagement through various team-building activities. ‘This encourages better teamwork and productivity, as well as the establishment of a conducive and satisfying work environment,’ he said.

Individuals contacted by The Straits Times seemed to support the poll’s findings.

Mr Pierre Fong, 34, who left the engineering profession three years ago to become a full-time teacher, does not regret his career change. He recounts his experiences with children at Geylang Methodist School (Primary) with a sparkle in his eyes.

‘I remember that I had this particular child in class who was very sloppy and lazy in his work,’ said the English and science teacher, who admits he is unlikely to return to engineering. ‘After a year, you see the gradual change. He is now so much more interested in doing his work and, as cliched as it sounds, it’s really heart warming to know that you had a part to play in making that happen.’

Mr Tan Soo Jin, a director at executive search firm Amrop Hever Group and a former internal auditor, suggested that internal auditors who derived satisfaction from the job sometimes felt ‘guilty’ uncovering wrongdoers because they were usually sacked.

‘Compliance is like policing. It can be tedious and time-consuming, so I wouldn’t say many people would rate this important role to be an enjoyable one,’ Mr Tan said.

gabrielc@sph.com.sg

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