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Recession over, workers look to move on
By DAVID SCHEPP The (Westchester, N.Y.) Journal News
If youíre happy with your job, count yourself among the minority of workers. Most appear ready to pack it in and move on to other jobs.

At least thatís what a recent survey suggests.

A poll taken this year of participating readers at career Web site Monster.com showed that 86 percent were not satisfied with their jobs.

Worse news for employers, a greater percentage, 89 percent, said they hope to change jobs within the next six months.

While those statistics may seem startling, they are not surprising to 34-year-old Brett Ruskin of Monsey, N.Y.

"Most people are miserable in their positions," he says.

Complicating matters for many workers is that many like what they do, just not for whom they do it.

Ruskin counts himself among such workers.

"Iím not satisfied with management," he says.

Polls posted on Monster.com, where job seekers can scroll through job listings and post resumes, might seem a ripe venue for uncovering lots of disgruntled workers.

But the outsized number seems on-the-money to career expert Beverly Kaye, co-author of "Love It, Donít Leave It: 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work," published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

She says that the majority of such surveys paint a similar picture.

The recent recession and subsequent layoffs caused many unhappy workers to hunker down and keep their mouths shut, seemingly content just to have a job.

Whatís more, many managers took advantage of the situation, treating employees as if they should be glad to be working.

Now, the improving economy presents more options.

"A lot more people are looking to change and find that greener grass," Kaye says.

Through her books and training sessions offered by her company, Career Systems International, Kaye tells workers that jumping ship isnít always the most viable alternative to an unsatisfactory work situation.

"Even if you move on to do a similar job," Kaye says, "the way that job uses your skills is not going to be exactly the same."

Much like homeowners who weigh the costs involved in either selling a home and buying a new one or staying where they are, employees also need to evaluate their current situations and the pros and cons of changing employers.

Itís what Kaye calls a ``job-equity review.

"Before you go, think about the equity youíve already built in your current job, and how hard it is to rebuild that equity elsewhere," she says.

On the employer side, she says, there is much that bosses can do to retain valued employees.

One idea catching on is conducting "stay interviews" instead of exit interviews, in which managers ask their employees questions with an ear toward discovering how to keep them.

"The simplest question is, ĎWhat can I do to keep you?í " Kaye says.