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Industry: The Ultimate Divide

VOCA's Life@Work series 2024

How does the industry you work in shape your experience of the job? 

This question is one of the dozens we answer in our annual Life@Work Study. Every year VOCA asks “How is work going?” We do this to keep our content and programs fresh.  

In this installment, we look at different lived experiences at work by industry. We used the following 11 industry headings to sort the data:

  • Healthcare or social assistance

  • Education 

  • Information Technology

  • Banking and Finance 

  • Manufacturing, construction, agriculture

  • Government, public administration, or military

  • Church or religious ministry 

  • Retail and trade

  • Professional, scientific, or technical services 

  • Hospitality, service, arts, entertainment, or recreation 

  • Transportation

Key Finding: Industry has more influence on one’s lived work experience than any other single factor. 

Individuals who work in different industries have vastly different experiences from each other but find commonalities with their industry peers. Take joy, for example, bankers find it in autonomy, educators and healthcare workers find it in helping others, and tech and construction workers find it in task completion. 

Those in the manufacturing, agriculture, and construction (MAC) field are more likely to find joy in good pay (10%) and personal growth (6%) than in other fields. They are more goal/project oriented (18%) and value support from their bosses (6%) the most.

Want More?

This is just one of 100s of insights from our annual study of life at work.  If you’re trying to navigate the dynamics of a changing workplace, lead others well, and understand your colleagues, our full report will provide you with the data you need to be wise at work.  


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