THE GOAL—SATISFYING WORK, OR YOUR CALLING?

IN THE UNITED STATES, home of long work-hours and short vacations, less than half of all Americans say they're satisfied with their jobs. That figure is down from 61 percent 20 years ago, according to a study released in 2007 by the Conference Board, a business research organization. Other studies show variable job satisfaction levels around the world—generally higher in the UK and Western Europe than the US, though slipping in Germany, and lower in Eastern Europe and Japan.

When you're out of a job, or employed but concerned about being laid off, or approaching retirement, thinking about what makes you happy in your work might rank low in your priorities. But it could be the perfect time to invest substantially in that direction.

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September 1, 2008
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