Ten happiest jobs

Recent news reports on the ten most and least happy professions in America, courtesy of the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey, caught many people by surprise but really shouldn’t have. After all, each of the happiest jobs identified align well with established research findings on the key drivers of human happiness. As ably summarized by Richard Layard, these natural happiness drivers include things that are community, family, and health friendly; ensure adequate financial security; provide sufficient meaningfulness and work quality; promote social currency and personal freedom; and encourage compassionate, trusting, and thankful personal attitudes.

What should be equally unsurprising, but often is still a shock and strongly counter-intuitive for many of us, is that the least happy occupations identified emphasize income, technical focus, and/or positions of diffuse accountability within large organizations, and thus generally align poorly with the above happiness drivers. But since we live in a time where our natural sources of health and happiness are still poorly understood, and where incentives for wise status-seeking life are generally absent, we routinely pursue these unhappy occupations and make other objectively poor personal choices, in and out of work.

You can click  to learn more about the most and least happy jobs in America, but here is a quick listing of the top and bottom ranked occupations in the University of Chicago survey:

Ten Most Happy Jobs

  1. Clergy
  2. Firefighters
  3. Physical therapists
  4. Authors
  5. Special Ed teachers
  6. Teachers
  7. Artists
  8. Psychologists
  9. Financial services sales
  10. Operating engineers

Ten Least Happy Jobs

  1. Information Technology Director
  2. Sales and Marketing Director
  3. Product Manager
  4. Senior Web Developer
  5. Technical Specialist
  6. Electronics Technician
  7. Law Clerk
  8. Technical Support Analyst
  9. CNC Machinist
  10. Marketing Manager

If you would like to begin to explore the science of achieving lasting and healthy happiness in your life and work, a great place to start is with Mark Lundegren’s popular article, Balancing Health & Happiness, which was published recently by HumanaNatura.

Photo courtesy of Happiness.

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