Happiness Works

By on April 29, 2013

When teenagers are asked what they want to do when they leave school, they generally talk about how much money and fame they want. Fiona Smith says however that money doesnt necessarily equal happiness.

 

 These are the things they think will make them happy. But nowhere on the list of “happiest jobs” are hedge fund traders, CEO’s, rock stars or mining engineers. The occupations of the world’s happiest people are far more prosaic and many of these people struggle to pay a mortgage. Jobs with the highest levels of job satisfactions have much in common. They tend to be roles that are creative or involve helping others but unfortunately it is unlikely they are well paid.

A survey from the National Organisation for Research at the University of Chicago shows the top 10 jobs are:

  • Clergy
  • Physical therapist
  • Firefighters
  • Education Administrators
  • Painters, sculptors
  • Teachers
  • Authors
  • Psychologists
  • Special education teachers
  • Operating Engineers

Great jobs – ones that have people never want to leave not only involve a sense of service, which brings meaning to the work but they also offer a reasonable level of status where people are empowered to make their own decisions. Money is important but satisfying jobs do not have to bring riches.

In his book Three Signs of Miserable Job , management consultant Patrick Lencioni, uses a fable to describe how workers in a fast food restaurant can be motivated by learning their jobs have value and can actually help their customers.

Lencioni’s says it is up to managers to show employees their work is valued and important. “Certainly you want empowered employees who want to take responsibility but if you work for a manager who doesn’t care about you and if you work for a manager who does not have any time to help you understand why your job matters, there is only so much you can do for yourself”, he said.

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