Happy at Work? Take this Test, and You Could Be

FRAMINGHAM (07/31/2000) - Long hours? Unbearable pressure? Is your job eating you alive? Then you must be an idiot for staying, because there's an incredible labor shortage out there and high-tech skills are in demand.

Employers are desperate. Openings abound. Corporate America wants you! If you can hang a tape or move a mouse, there's a six-figure salary just around the corner.

This means you should be fulfilled. Elated. You should love your job.

Not sure? There's a simple solution: Take this test. Rate your job. Find out if you're happy. Because if you're not, if you're miserable, if you're ready to strangle an end user or two by the end of the day, there are a dozen other jobs out there, and odds are you can have a handful by this afternoon.

1. Are you compensated fairly?

a. Yes, I have the upside potential of an Internet start-up.

b. My upside is limited, but I have the security of a brick-and-mortar company.

c. Every time I ask my boss about money, I get hit upside the head with a brick.

2. You're traveling week after week, but it's worth it because you regularly receive:a. Plenty of bonuses and promotions.b. Plenty of stock options.c. Plenty of frequent-flier miles and a boatload of those little bags of peanuts.

3. You work hard, but at least you get:

a. Half days on Fridays.

b. Three-day weekends all year.

c. Three weekends all year.

4. With whom would you say you have the best working relationship?a. Your boss.b. Your co-workers.c. Your headhunter.

5. How do people think of you?

a. Six or seven people wish they had your job.

b. Six or seven people wish you'd do your job.

c. Six or seven people make you do their jobs.

6. Are you exposed to new projects and technology?a. I'm stuck on one project.b. I get to work on lots of different projects and get all the technology I can handle.c. I'll have to work on lots of different projects until I find a technology I can handle.

7. How flexible is your employer about telecommuting?a. Not at all; we have to work at the office.b. Very flexible; we get to work from home.c. Somewhat flexible; we have to work at the office and work more when we get home.

8. Describe your office's teamwork and culture.a. We work effectively in project teams.b. I'm more effective working by myself.c. We used to work in project teams - until everybody quit, and now I'm doing this whole stinking project by myself.

9. Are you a mobile employee? How do you feel?a. Yes, I'm mobile and feel isolated and alone.b. Yes, I'm mobile, but thanks to e-mail, voice mail and pagers, I never feel alone.c. Yes, I'm mobile, and thanks to e-mail, voice mail and pagers, I'm never left alone.

10. Finally, rate your loyalty - how long do you plan to stay at this employer?a. Till I finish this year.b. Till I finish this project.c. Till I finish this sentence.

How did you score? Our panel of experts has determined that if most of your answers were:

A - You're probably in the wrong job.

B - You're definitely in the wrong job.

C - You might be better-suited for a career in tollbooth fare collection.

Michael Cohn is a highly sought-after technical professional in Atlanta, only because he hasn't paid his American Express Co. bill since March. Contact him at mdyinc@aol.com.

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