A good job

Un bon emploi

does not feel like work.

doesn't seem like work at all.

gives money, prestige, and leaves time for other things.

happy, exciting, fulfilling

has benefits, does not have too many hours, pays more than just minimum wage

has room for advancement; is challenging, interesting and enjoyable; where there is good teamwork between colleagues; offers decent pay and social benefits perhaps bonuses and other types of incentives.

is exciting, pays well, and is stimulating.

is fun, grueling, and helps you learn a lot.

is intellectually stimulating; is well enough paid to lead a comfortable life; does not take over your life.

is interesting and beneficial to the world.

is interesting, challenging, and stimulating

is one that consumes and fulfills you.

is one that doesn't feel like "work."

is one that is rewarding. artists, singers, passion

is one that you enjoy but at the same time pays well

is something that makes you happy while providing enough money.

is something you enjoy doing.

is stable, exciting and pays well

makes a person happy to wake up and satisfied when he leaves.

one that you enjoy

pays a lot, is interesting, has nice coworkers.

pays well, is fun, is not too hard

provides income, rewards, and satisfaction

should not seem like work, as you will enjoy doing it every day.

bien payé, pas monotone, passionnant, technique et utile aux autres

celui qu'on a réussi à obtenir après y avoir rêvé pendant toute la vie

change, évolue, et se vit comme un plaisir et un apprentissage sans fin

créatif, bien payé, prestigeux

doit avant tout être intéressant et rapporter un minimum

donne envie d'aller travailler, paye bien

est un emploi intéressant, dans une ville de rêve, qui offre des possibilités d'évolution et de voyages

est un emploi qui n´est pas monotone et qui permet à quelqu´un de se développer

fait plaisir,

intéressant, bien rémunéré

permet de s'épanouir, permet de gagner sa vie en s'épanouissant

plait à l'employé, est bien rémunéré

rémunère à la hauteur du travail fourni.


In general it seems that both Americans and French have the save desire when describing a good job; however, pays well showed up more on the American side than the French side. It was also interesting that the French valued "a nice place to live" and "opportunities to travel" as work perks while Americans saw upward mobility and the opportunity to work with nice coworkers as addition work benefits. Just out of curiosity,what is the most important thing to you when choosing a job?

LA chose la plus importante c'est difficile a dire, puisque c'est un tout qui te fait choisir, je pense. Je dirais, que ce soit un travail interressant, puisque c'est une condition sine qua none; j'accepterais un salaire peu eleve (dans la limite du raisonnable) s'il a toutes les autres qualites que je recherche, mais en aucun cas je ne ferais un travail qui ne me semble pas interressant!
Et pour toi, qu'en serait-il?
Je trouve quand meme amusant que, quel que soit le sujet, on retrouve les memes differences, notamment dans le rapport a l'argent!

Comme Marie, je pense qu'une des choses les plus importantes pour moi pour choisir un metier c'est qu'il me plaise et surtout qu'il soit varie et que l'on ait beaucoup de possibilites d'evoluer et de changer. L'argent sera bien sur un critere mais certainement pas le premier !

I agree with what you have said so far. I also thought that most of the things both groups would desire are similar and they do not only have to to with money. I think that the work being stimulating and interesting was more significant than money in both groups responses. However I did notice a couple of responses from Americans saying that the ideal job would not take much time of one's life, and that it does not take over the other things (I imagine those other things being family etc). However you did not really mention that at all. Is it because maybe in France the balance between work and other activities is more balanced?

A common phenomenon here at MIT is for students to graduate with degrees in math, science, or engineering, and then go on to work in finance. For some, their passion indeed lies in working in finance, but I am fairly sure that were the individuals to make career choices independently of salary considerations, they would go for something more closely related to their major. Finance is, roughly put, about making money, and indeed there is an art in this; and it takes intelligence and problem solving abilities. However, there is more prestige in the sciences and engineering fields in the sense that something is discovered or invented. Unfortunately, today's society puts so much importance on money that many intelligent individuals are not motivated to sacrifice a luxurious life in pursuit of a career in the sciences. It is too bad but that's the way that society has evolved, so we cannot harangue these individuals for "selling out", as having a comfortable life is, for some, on par with having an interesting job, even if only or the other can be had.

Pour Gleb : En France il y a à peu près le même phénomène : beaucoup de jeunes ingénieurs partent faire de la finance parce que c'est effectivement un domaine qui rapporte énormément! En plus, et c'est encore plus vrai en France qu'aux Etats-Unis, ici les chercheurs sont très mal payés, c'est pour ça qu'il y en a de moins en moins en France et qu'ils partent tous à l'étranger. Parfois, un chercheur qui a fait une thèse et plus de 10 ans d'étude gagne autant qu'une personne ayant fait 3 ans d'étude, c'est vraiment scandaleux. Je pense que même si l'argent ne fait pas tout, dans ce cas là c'est vraiment dommage d'avoir tant travaillé pour si peu. Je pense aussi que ceux qui partent vers la finance au départ sans conviction et seulement pour gagner beaucoup d'argent, changeront de métier au bout de 10 ans et feront sans doute quelque chose qui leur plaira plus.

I think it is probably true that at a school like MIT more of the students are preoccupied with their futures and what opportunities are open to them than your average college student. We enjoy being and school and being around our peers when we're not bogged down with homework, but we are also very aware of the aprroachign time to find a job that suits us or perhaps to continue with our education in graduate school. At the same time, however, I would say that the dominant mind set of Americans is that it is too hard to know what you want to do when you are still very young. While we should have an idea of what we want to be doing as we get ready to look fro jobs, high school and even the first couple years of college are too early to know what we want to do and there is still time to explore and to make up our minds. Beyond that, we can also start out doing one thing and end up changing out minds. It is never too late to try something new. I am curious as to whether this is similar for French students or if, perhaps, you are encouraged to have a good idea of what you want to end up doing much sooner in life. Are you encouraged to decide what type of job you want to do at a much younger age?

I read in the newspaper that France has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe. Helene's comment about the low salaries in France reminded me of this article. Is there concern among the Polytechnician that jobs may be more scarce in the future for them? In the U.S., it was very hard to find a job during our economic downturn a few years ago but now it seems to be better and employment is up. I thought it was also really interesting that you said that many engineers in France are going into finance. Last year at MIT approximately 40% of the students took finance and consulting jobs (business essentially and no relation to engineering). I thought that this was surprisingly high. What are the statistics for l'Ecole Polytechnique?