Glass half empty? Pharma staffers about as content as average Americans, survey finds

Unhappy with your pharma job? Join the crowd. In its first job satisfaction survey, Cafepharma found that at least half of pharma employees were at least somewhat unhappy with their jobs, with the most common response--"very unhappy"--given by 28% of the self-selected respondents.

While that may sound grim, it's actually right on track with most other U.S. industries. According to the Conference Board's 2015 annual job satisfaction survey, about 52% of all Americans are not satisfied with their jobs.

Cafepharma's survey also found that 56% of pharma employees reported being disengaged with their jobs, giving an average score of 3.7 when asked to list engagement on a one to 7 scale. Again, the finding is not unusual for American workers, and in fact, it's better than average. Gallup's most recent work engagement study found that 66.8% of Americans said they were not engaged in their jobs in 2014.

Cafepharma is a news and bulletin board site, and a popular online water-cooler stop for the drug and medical device industry, especially sales reps.

Still to be released this week from the survey results are specific job concerns from the pharma industry. Cafepharma offered an advance look, noting job security was at the top of the worry list, named by 24% of respondents in the survey. Management concerns followed at 19%, while compensation and lack of opportunity tied at third with 9% of people naming those as problem issues.

"I think that the current concerns mentioned give us some insight," Michael Bryan, one of Cafepharma's owners, told FiercePharmaMarketing in an email interview. "I do think that a lot of people in the pharmaceutical industry are concerned about job security."

The survey was conducted online with 99 respondents who chose to opt in. Bryan said the intent of the survey was to give users an idea of what others in the community are thinking. It was not intended "to be conducted in accordance with rigorous academic standards," he said.

Of those who did respond, 82% were from the pharma industry and another 7% were in medical devices. Cafepharma is currently looking at breaking out specific findings for different job titles, but the total respondents simply by job include 64% sales reps; 9% directors; 8% field management; 8% scientists; and 3% medical science liaisons.

The site is planning additional surveys in the coming weeks, Bryan said. "At least one of those will be intended to shed some light on the issue of job engagement," he added.

- see the Cafepharma initial results

Special Report: Top 10 pharma companies by employees