Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Do I really have the most hated job?

This month I wanted to share a surprising post from CNBC on the 10 most hated jobs (assuming in America):


I actually find this almost funny ... why?  The number one most hated job is ... Director of Information Technology … and well, that is pretty much my job!  I believe my technical title is along the lines of Director of Application Development and Integration and while I'm more heavily involved in software development than a traditional IT Director, I really share those same responsibilities in addition to building software.  According to the article:

“…IT directors reported the highest level of dissatisfaction with their jobs, far surpassing that of any waitress, janitor or bellhop.”

Lucky me!  In all seriousness though, I don’t hate my job.  But it is stressful at times and requires real leadership and managerial skills.  And this is often lacking in IT organizations.  I think this article further backs up the need for this blog and education around management in information technology teams.  I believe that most of the problems experienced by these leaders of IT are fundamentally management problems. 

The quote this article chose to sum up the antipathy, “Nepotism, cronyism, disrespect for workers”, seems to be from a particularly disenfranchised Director that is very bitter about his or her situation.  This is a situation where the Director felt as though rewards were not distributed based on merit and they were not enabled or capable to institute effective change. Clearly at the root of it, this is a management problem. We’ve already begun to talk about some of these issues and in future postings I will get into further detail on how to prevent this from happening in your organization.


  1. I think "Director IT" is very different than what we do :-). These are the guys responsible for keeping PCs and email working - I can see that being a VERY thankless job. Especially in a non-technical environment.

  2. It might stem from the fact that IT is treated like a red-headed stepchild in most non-technical organizations. Times are slowly changing, but many traditional businesses can't or refuse to see IT as anything but a cost center. In these kinds of organizations, I imagine it is a struggle to get the funding needed to execute necessary projects. But then blame is quickly handed out when aging infrastructure fails.

    Another consideration might be to the prospects for advancement. CEOs of traditional companies never come from the technical arm of the company. They are frequently from the sales or product side. It might be frustrating to be in a higher level position at a company, feel you are more qualified or smarter than your peers, but you are never given a chance for advancement. This certainly fits with the nepotism and cronyism comments from the one disgruntled Director.

    Just my 2 cents based on 10 years of observation.

  3. Good feedback. Since leaving Oracle I find myslef not only leading software development but also having many "IT" responsibilites in keeping production systems working. It can be a thankless job at times when you work for a company where software is not the primnary business, but a tool to enable the business. I spent most of my career building software for software companies so its been a big change for me. But coming from that background gives me the attitude and experience that is needed in a typical IT organization trying to mature its software development practices. Still I find the same management challenges exist at either type of company.

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