Pop job quiz: Would you rather shill life insurance over the phone for $38,000 a year, mine potash for $70K, or glide around on a razor scooter like a laid-back Owen Wilson, popping free organic vegan sushi in your mouth, for a cool $107K?
Well, you may be surprised to find out that according to a recent survey by Payscale.com, all these occupations are roughly comparable in their appeal—at least when measured by a single scale, employee turnover. Amazon and Google, those much-touted havens of swag and perkage, turned up as the #2 and #4 large companies with the least loyal employees who have been at the company for median tenures of 1.0 and 1.1 years respectively (compare to Mass Mutual Insurance at 0.8, AFLAC at 1.0, and Mosaic, the potash company, at 1.1 years. Potash is used for fertilizer and chemicals.)
Of course there are several factors driving brief job tenures. It could be a sign of mass layoffs, or a particularly high-pressure, high-stress line of work (like sales). Or, it could signal a young workforce at a fast-expanding company in a highly competitive industry where rapid horizontal leaps are quite common. Amazon's low number in particular also includes the jobs of its thousands of warehouse workers, along with its Seattle-based engineering and development team—and those warehouses are not particularly appealing places to work.
Whether you have one of the economy's most awesome jobs or one of the lamest, take comfort: if these numbers are anything to go by, it's only temporary.