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10 Most Popular Career News Stories of 2016: Lazy Programmers, Drone Jobs, and More

If we go by this year’s most popular stories on PayScale’s Career News blog, a lot of folks would like to start the New Year with a new job. Topics like burnout, toxic coworkers, and dealing with horrible jobs were hits with readers, while the most-read story on our list is about a guy who automated his job and played video games for six years. Nice work if you can get it — although as we’ll see in a moment, there was a catch.
  1. Programmer, Fired After 6 Years, Realizes He Doesn’t Know How to Code

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Image Credit: RyanJLayne/Getty Images

What if you could automate your job, and spend your workday playing games online? If this sounds appealing to you, keep in mind: in this scenario, you’d probably forget how to do your job, and pretty quickly.

That’s what happened to one computer programmer:

“From around six years ago up until now, I have done nothing at work. I am not joking. For 40 hours each week I go to work, play League of Legends in my office, browse Reddit, and do whatever I feel like. In the past six years, I have maybe done 50 hours of real work. So basically nothing. And nobody really cared.”

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Until, that is, he got fired … and discovered that he no longer had the skills to get another job.

  1. 6 Jobs Where You Can Fly a Drone

Did you love flying RC planes as a kid? Well, now you may be able to parlay that passion into a full-time job. Drone pilots do everything from filming movies to gathering data on crops to maintaining utilities. Your future job might be among them.

  1. The 5 Worst States for Teachers

Teaching is both an art and a science. It also depends heavily on investment from state and local governments. For this reason, teaching jobs tend to feel very different, depending on where teachers live and work.

  1. What’s Next? Teachers Who Change Careers Have Many Options

If you’re a teacher and your state topped the list of tough places to teach, you might be in the market for a new job. The good news is that you probably have a lot of options. Whether you opt for curriculum development, teaching online, or moving into another field entirely, your education and skills won’t go to waste.

  1. 5 Signs You’re Burning Out

When is it bad to love your job? When your commitment to your work leads you to do it at all hours — and never take any time for yourself. That’s one reason why teachers, police officers, and certain others in consuming occupations are more likely to burn out than those in other jobs.

  1. How to Recognize a Toxic Worker Before They Do Their Worst

It’s easy to recognize a toxic worker once they’re wrought havoc on your career. If you can figure out who the problem coworkers are before they strike, however, you stand a much better chance of preserving your happiness at work.

  1. 3 Things You Should Probably Never Say to a Recruiter

During the job search process, what you don’t say can be as important as what you do say. For example, being super casual with a recruiter — using slang or profanity, etc. — probably won’t get you invited to the next round.

  1. 3 Reasons Why Good Professionals Make Not-So-Good Career Decisions

Everyone makes mistakes. Knowing what to watch out for can help you avoid the major pitfalls. For example, even the savviest professionals can find themselves in the wrong job, if the salary offer was too tempting.

  1. When You Can’t Quit Your Horrible Job, Do These 5 Things

Every career includes a few jobs that are irredeemably bad. In a perfect world, you’d be able to quit as soon as you figured out that your manager can’t communicate or your employer is never going to offer you that promotion. In the real world, well, sometimes you’re stuck. Here’s what to do when that happens.

  1. Federal Judge Blocks New FLSA Overtime Rule

Obama’s new overtime rule would have boosted pay for 4 million workers nationwide. Thanks to a ruling from a federal judge, that rule is now blocked. Find out why — and whether there’s hope for some of the country’s lowest paid workers to finally get a raise.

Tell Us What You Think

What’s the best career story you’ve read this year? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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