Is Your Job Meaningful?

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Is producing Big Macs, Whoppers and other fast-food products a meaningful job? That depends on whom you ask.

Evan Amos

Is producing Big Macs, Whoppers and other fast-food products a meaningful job? That depends on whom you ask.

A compensation data website surveyed over 2 million workers working in over 500 job titles on the most and least meaningful jobs and found that meaning is not always measured in money: Clergy jobs had the highest rank among the 13 most meaningful jobs, although the median pay is only $47,000 compared with median pay of $304,000 for a surgeon’s, the title that ranked fourth.

PayScale.com ranked parking lot attendants as the least meaningful job, with a median income of only $19,700 annually. But it ascribed even a harsher rating to fast-food workers, saying that their occupation is one that “Makes the World a Worse Place.” According to Payscale.com, 25 percent of fast-food workers gave a negative answer when asked, “Does Your Job Make the World a Better Place?

Fast-food worker Ty-shawn Nunez disagreed with that assessment. We caught up with him outside the Wage Board hearing at 90 Church Street where he and his colleagues were rallying as the wage board announced a wage increase for fast food workers in New York City to $15 per hour by 2019.

Interestingly, while computer software engineers earn a median pay of over $100,000, the Payscale.com report only gives the occupation a 29 percent high “meaningful” rating and a 57 percent high “satisfaction” rating.

Frank Cantelmi used to work as a software engineer for Bloomberg L.P.; now he’s one of the principal founders of Giant Machines, a software consulting company. In the video below, Cantelmi said he too was surprised by the Payscale.com rating, but is happy to have been in the industry for 15 years.

Cantelmi also had advice for people hoping to break into his industry: meet people.

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