Progress on the job

A COUPLE of interesting bits on people and their jobs have crossed our desk lately: A membership poll of AFSCME, the big government workers' union, revealed career development as a bigger employee concern than day care, pay equity, flexible hours, and other higher-profile issues.

A Personnel Journal survey found that job satisfaction outranked job security or higher pay on workers' wish lists.

Of course salary and benefits matter - and restructuring benefits to make them more useful to today's changing work force is an important issue.

But these two news items suggest a heartening tendency to focus on the intrinsic value of the activity of one's job itself, and to seek opportunities for progress, not just ways to get more for doing less. After all, a full-time job takes up a considerable chunk of one's waking hours; it's as much ``real life'' as anything else.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and does a number on Jill, too. But a satisfying career, however humble or exalted, can be a golden thread woven into the larger tapestry of a life.

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