This is a question that undoubtedly every one asks itself at least once in it´s life time. And even do it´s frequently asked everywhere in the world, since work / job conditions vary allot from one country or from one culture to another, how can we setup standards that will allow us to say cross nations: That´s a Great Job!
The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) gives us the answers. Good quality jobs help people:
- Develop their skills,
- Fulfil their ambitions,
- Make them feel useful in society,
Benefits of having a quality job
People who hold quality jobs are generally healthier, meaning they´re more productive contributing to an enhanced performance. That´s easy to understand since life is made of balance and if you have it at work, you´ll be closer to achieve it in your personal life as well.
How to compare job quality
OECD has developed comparable measures of job quality in order to correctly compare diferente jobs, in diferente industries across the world. They do this by looking at the individual experience of people at work.
These measures focus on 3 main areas and their outcome for workers:
- Earning quality: How does being employed contributes to material living standards?
- Labour market security: Is there a high risk of unemployment? And how about the economic consequences of being laid off?
- Working environment: How much pressure does the work involve? How much control people have over the tasks they perform?)
Other important metrics involve work time arrangements, work place relationships, opportunities for learning and work vs life balance.
Country wise, has expected, job quality varies dramatically between countries. For exemple in the EU (European Union), Germany, Finland and Denmark are normally associated with high job quality. On the other hand, Greece, Estonia and Hungary are on the low end of job quality, at least when comparing them within the EU.
And what about within groups of workers? Youth and unskilled (unqualified) workers tend to have worst job quality when comparing with older, more qualified workers.
Man normally get paid higher (still…) then women, but actually women are the one´s enjoying better work environment.
One other very important aspect of job quality it´s a career prospect, being able to see a future move to a better job position.
Also, being stuck in a low quality job right in the beginning of the work career affects long-term prospects of future earnings, working conditions and subsequently a future quality job expectation.
Low unemployment rates shouldn´t mean low quality jobs just for the sake of creating jobs. The challenge here is how can a Nation create not just more jobs, but better jobs.
This can be specially challenging in countries whose economics have been severely damaged by crisis in recent years, and still struggling to effectively increasing their economy.
On a personal note
Developing our skills, being hungry to learn and asking ourselves “what is this useful for?” is the best way to keep evolving has humans. If you evolve you´ll naturally eager for new exciting opportunities and eventually they´ll catch up with you.
So my personal insight is:
NEVER STOP LEARNING
To see the OECD movie about job quality:
To see the full OECD Quality Jobs Database: http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=JOBQ