Military beats Disney as a happy place to work

Army recruiting station near City Hall in New YorkDespite the risk of getting shot at or stepping on a roadside bomb, the Army and National Guard rank higher on a recent survey than Disney theme parks when it comes to worker happiness. Maybe it has something to do with the GI Bill being the only way anyone can get a home loan these days, or the fact that the VA provides you with some health care, pre-existing conditions notwithstanding?

In the career advancement category of the survey by CareerBliss, nothing beat the military. Not even Google, which ranks as the top place to work overall. Disney came in at No. 41 on the rankings and Microsoft was only slightly better at No. 39.

While job satisfaction may feel like a foreign concept to the 14 million or so unemployed Americans who just wish they could find a job -- any job -- it's still interesting to hear that not everyone is doodling little devil's ears on their company's logo. Although apparently those mouse ears see a lot of, ahem, artwork and who knows what havoc those Microsoft engineers are up to when nobody is standing over their cubicles.

The 2010 BlissIndex based its findings on about 100,000 independent company reviews by employees in the categories of growth opportunity, salary and benefits, work-life balance, career advancement, job security, senior management and whether the employee would recommend working there to others. The military came out on top for growth opportunity, benefits, job security (when are we leaving Iraq and Afghanistan again?) and career advancement. Plus, isn't the military actually the only employer hiring right now?

"It was interesting to see how well the military ranked relative to many top-tier corporations," said Rick Wainschel, vice president of CareerBliss. "It was clear our military service members not only take pride in serving and protecting our country, but find a deep sense of personal accomplishment in the important work that they do." Right, and they don't have to wear hot goofy costumes and follow personal conduct rules set by a guy who died several decades ago.

Most of the jabs against the Walt Disney Company were directed at middle managers who play company politics. Employees said that those with differing opinions are often viewed as not being team players. Interesting that anyone would think the military was a place that tolerated differing viewpoints, so maybe it does get back to wearing the fake smile and mouse ears.

CareerBliss tread gently on Disney's reputation, suggesting the problem was more about pay. But Huliq.com took a harsher approach. According to the website, Disney employees described their working conditions as "brutal" and said their bosses were motivated "exclusively by revenue and profits, rather than the well-being and care of employees." The site said Disney was described as "Mousewitz," a play on the World War II Nazi concentration camps.

A spokesman for Disney did not respond to a request for comment.

To end on a happy note, here is WalletPop's list of 10 Fun Jobs That Pay Well.

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