In September, 2011, Forbes Magazine reported on an article that appeared in Christian Science Monitor. (www.Forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/09/12/the-ten-happiest-jobs/) The gist of the article was pretty much in-your-face obvious. It highlighted the jobs that people find the happiest -- especially when the “happiest” list is compared with the Most Hated jobs lists.
Christian Science Monitor article http://www.csmonitor.com/CSM-Photo-Galleries/In-Pictures/The-10-happiest-jobs
The Ten Happiest Jobs
1. Clergy: selflessness has its reward
2. Firefighters: Eighty percent of firefighters are “very satisfied” with their jobs, which involve helping people.
3. Physical therapists: Social interaction and helping people apparently make this job one of the happiest.
4. Authors: there must be something intrinsically rewarding about expressing oneself.
5. Special education teachers: if pay is not a motivator, helping children is.
6. Teachers: fifty percent of new teachers are gone within five years. Those that remain love their work and care about the children.
7. Artists: Creative expression seems to lend itself to happiness.
8. Psychologists: Psychologists must be applying their own practices to finding happiness in their lives.
9. Financial services sales agents: Sixty-five percent of financial services sales agents are reported to be happy with their jobs. It’s not unusual to make $90,000 for a 40 hour week.
10.Operating engineers: Playing with giant toys like bulldozers, front-end loaders, backhoes, scrapers, motor graders, shovels, derricks, large pumps, and air compressors can be fun. Demand for operating engineers exceeds the number of trained operators. Job security contributes to overall happiness.
The Ten Most Hated Jobs
1. Director of Information Technology
2. Director of Sales and Marketing
3. Product Manager
4. Senior Web Developer
5. Technical Specialist
6. Electronics Technician
7. Law Clerk
8. Technical Support Analyst
9. CNC Machinist
Even simply reading this list, I find myself yaaawwnnnning. Any sustained satisfaction I have ever derived from work has come from being invested in the well-being of others. I feel like my work is meaningful, that my efforts, thoughts and ideas are contributing somehow to the well-being of others. That meaning comes from an intrinsic sense that my work counts. Companies like Amazon and Apple sustain profits and loyal customers because they understand that model; happy employees happy customers make.
Into that arena of self-awareness comes this discovery; in my immediate family, we have ALL, every single one of us, chosen professions that are, purportedly, among the happiest. My family’s list of careers includes Author, Artist, Psychologist, and Financial Services Sales Agents. There is a certain amount of satisfaction that, on paper, we are positioned for happiness. However, above all else, there is one thing of which I am certain; the bulk of our happiness is ours to determine.