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SEC Seeks a Psychologist to Stop Burnout

June 12, 2004|From Bloomberg News

The Securities and Exchange Commission three weeks ago posted a job opening designed to help prevent employee burnout: an organizational psychologist.

The post, which pays $101,000 to $147,978 annually, aims to "improve employee attitudes and satisfaction related to employee retention, job satisfaction, burnout, conflict and stress," according to a listing on the SEC's website. The closing date for applications had been Thursday but was extended until July 9.

"The position was created to help the agency attract and retain employees of the highest caliber," SEC spokesman John Nester said.

The top U.S. securities regulator has faced an onslaught of corporate scandals since the collapse of Enron Corp. in 2001. Chairman William H. Donaldson replaced Harvey Pitt in February 2003, and New York Atty. Gen. Eliot Spitzer criticized the SEC for failing to detect misconduct in the mutual fund industry.

Congress more than doubled the SEC's budget since 2002, allowing the agency to raise salaries and hire about 740 employees.

That all adds up to a dream job for the organizational psychologist sought by the SEC, said Alicia Grandey, a Pennsylvania State University assistant professor who researches workplace stress.

"If you picked up a textbook on organizational psychology, that's what would be in the text," she said, referring to the job description.

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