How Do Americans Feel about Their Jobs? This is probably important to know for post recession business recovery.

A recent survey partnered by Yahoo! Finance and Parade give us new insights. They called their project the Job Happiness Survey. The purpose was to discover how Americans view their jobs, working cultures, career priorities, and prospects. Based on the findings, it is clear that Americans are putting more value on every penny earned.

Below are some of the key findings:

• 56% of Americans Would Choose a 5 Percent Raise Over More Vacation

• 59% of Americans Would Choose a Different Career

• 53% of American Workers Have Three Months of Savings or Less

So what does this imply for people of retirement age?

Retirement Age: Americans Think They’ll be Working Past 65

When asked what age they expect to retire, more than a quarter of respondents (28 percent) said they’d retire at age 66 to 70; only 15 percent think they’ll actually retire at 65.

66–70 28%
60–64 20%
65 15%
Younger than 60 13%
Older than 76 13%

Career Rewind: Most Americans Would Choose a Different Career

If respondents could do it all over again, a whopping 59% say they would NOT choose the same career they work in now. It would appear that people are so economically strapped that they can not make career decisions that would make themselves happier.  Questions I would be asking Gen Y and the upcoming Gen Z Americans is would you rather own a big screen TV, Boat and RV or be able to make career and retirement decisions that produce a happier and more secure  life for you?

New career 59%
Same career 41%

Inside the Workplace:

Better workspace or commute?

Workspace 62%
Commute 38%

5 percent raise or two weeks vacation?

5 percent raise 56%
More vacation 44%

Would you be friends with your colleagues if you didn’t work with them?

Yes 51%
No 49%

The Safety Net: 53 percent of American Workers Have Three Months of Savings … or Less

It seems that American workers may not be saving their hard-earned money. If those employed lost their jobs tomorrow, 27 percent of respondents say they’d have no savings to tide them over. Twenty-six percent have only 1 to 3 months of savings.

I have no savings 27%
1–3 months 26%
4–6 months 15%
More than 2 years 13%

How To Get Ahead: Americans Think They Get Ahead at Work by Playing Internal Politics

More than half (51 percent) of respondents say workers get ahead because of internal politics, while 27 percent believe it is hard work and initiative that move them forward. Cynicism seems to grow over the course of a career, with 45 percent of respondent’s ages 18 to 24 noting hard work as the greatest means of getting ahead in their careers; only 28 percent said internal politics.

At TIGERS Success Series we found this last statistic very interesting. Internal politics works well in top down structures. In an empowered and team-based workforce, relationships and hard work will produce better results. Internal politics is based on a workforce that is internally competitive and less cooperative.

Internal politics 51%
Hard work 27%
Initiative 18%
Creativity 4%

About the Survey:

Yahoo! Finance and PARADE’s recent Job Happiness Survey was conducted online April through June 2012 among a sample of more than 26,000 respondents.