When it comes to matters of trust, many people have long held the view that some professions, such as those in the legal and journalistic fields as well as the medical field, should be held to a higher standard. The majority of those working in such positions now acknowledge that they are aware of the amount of responsibility that comes with their jobs and that they make an effort to respect it. According to the results of a survey that was conducted in 2009, however, they are not always seen as being among the most trusted professions.
Which Occupations Are Most Dependable?
1. People who combat fires
According to the findings of a survey that was carried out in 2009 by the market research organization GfK, firemen were deemed to be the most trustworthy profession in both Europe and the United States, with 92 percent of respondents finding them to be trustworthy. It's possible that it's all in the job description: being compelled to put yourself in harm's way each time you walk out on a mission is not just commendable; it's downright heroic.
Teachers came in second place in the same GfK survey that praised firemen, receiving 83 percent of the vote. When one considers the fact that those whose job it is to shape the brains of our children are seen as trustworthy, one realizes that this is a positive indicator.
"I think every teacher recognizes that they are part of a trusted profession," said Samantha Solic, a sixth-grade English teacher from North Carolina. "That means that parents trust them to do the best they can for their child, and that their principals trust them to do their best to prepare (students) for the next grade level," she added. "I think every teacher recognizes that they are part of a trusted profession." "And I believe instructors take that trust quite seriously, doing their best to educate the children as if they were their own," said one teacher.
3. Physicians and Registered Nurses
In the Gfk survey, medical professionals, postal employees, and those serving in the military forces all tied for third place, with 81 percent of people questioned rooting for each profession. This finding makes sense when one considers the level of responsibility that each job entails. Because medical personnel, such as physicians and nurses, are actually trusted with the lives of their patients, it is imperative that patients have faith in the work that they do and the manner in which they carry themselves. The public does not seem to hold this problem against the physicians and nurses who are just trying to perform their jobs, despite the fact that the growing expenses of healthcare are receiving their fair share of attention these days.
4. Postal Workers
Postal workers are responsible for more than just delivering your mail on time. They also screen and ensure the delivery of everything from that Amazon.com package and paychecks to tax returns and magazine subscriptions, all of which could reveal a significant amount of information about you if they were to fall into the wrong hands. It's possible that they don't always receive the acclaim they deserve, but being named among the top five most trustworthy professions is surely something to be proud of.
5. Military Forces
If medical experts perform procedures to save lives, then members of the armed forces put their own lives at danger to protect the lives of others. After the horror that was 9/11, almost everyone is on high alert today due to worries of terrorism, and the military is the first defense against actions of this kind. The members of the Armed Forces dedicate their time and energy to achieving one mission: the defense of their nation and the people who call it home. In addition, much like the jobs of law enforcement officers and firemen, their jobs are always on the edge of danger in order to protect the rights of the citizens of their respective nations. Respect is the only appropriate response to a level of commitment comparable to that.
And Among the Professions That Are Trusted the Least...
If there is one occupation that has struggled more than others to reestablish a reputation of trustworthiness, it is the legal profession. Only 47 percent of respondents to the GfK study liked attorneys, indicating a significant disparity between Atticus Finch and Kenneth Starr—a fact that the vast majority of attorneys are willing to concede.
An attorney headquartered in San Francisco named Naoki Kaneko said that "there is a lot of obligation to execute my work effectively and in a manner that generates trust from clients and colleagues, and even opposing clients and their lawyers." Kaneko is a member of the State Bar of California. "There are lots of tales floating around about attorneys who have let their clients down, but based on my own experiences, I believe that to be an anomaly.
The sheer power of the media may be daunting in and of itself, particularly considering how much the majority of people rely on their ability to accurately report the news. Unfortunately, the trustworthiness of the media has fallen to just 41 percent among those surveyed. However, those who are conscientious about their job will tell you that such an all-encompassing evaluation is unreasonable and lacking in precision.
"In today's world, winning someone's trust might be challenging, but the benefits of doing so are undeniable." According to John Simerman, a reporter for the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, California, "many people still can distinguish good, diligent reporting from the lazy kind that just re-circulates rumor or smudges the line between reporting and commentary." "I think a lot of people still can distinguish good, diligent reporting from the lazy kind that just re-circulates rumor." His latest responsibilities have included working on the case involving Jaycee Dugard.
According to what Simerman had to say, "I wouldn't expect to be trusted just because of the job or where I work." "However, it is beneficial for individuals to be informed news consumers, which means that they should question what they hear, read, or see. I certainly see a decline in the standards of journalism. A significant portion of this is due to the fact that the bar has been lowered, in terms of what may be considered appropriate for publication, on the internet. Who could really blame folks for wondering what's legitimate?
Although they may stake their careers on being public servants who work for the benefit of the people, politicians are ranked dead last in terms of public trust; just around 18 percent of those who were asked said they have faith in their elected officials. There is a Richard Nixon, Rod Blagojevich, or Larry Craig for every George Washington who ever lived, and so on and so forth. It is difficult to trust politicians' sincerity and honesty since they have actually spent years tarnishing their image with scandal after scandal over the course of decades. Politicians of every political affiliation have contributed to this problem. To win back the confidence of the general public at this stage will need a great deal more than just the power of the people alone.
It is challenging to live up to the standards that were established a very long time ago by professional pioneers who were raised in totally different eras. It is simple to see why the public has grown more cynical as a result of the situation of the economy as well as the continual spotlight put on firms such as large banks and insurance giants that have shown to be dishonest failures. However, even in today's environment, the vast majority of these experts are aware that reassuring the general public that they are doing good work is only an additional component of their job.