Some jobs are pretty miserable. (Just ask anyone who's worked in telemarketing.) However, there are five jobs that people really enjoy, according to Sokanu, a career selection and training firm.
They recently collected data about workplace happiness from more than 250,000 workers across 250 different career paths. The study revealed some not-too-surprising data, like workers in Hawaii are a lot happier (on average) than workers, say, in Vermont.
The most interesting finding from the study, though, were the five careers where workers reported the highest job satisfaction:
- Film director
- Video game designer
While there's obviously some wishful thinking going on (how many film directors can there be in that sample), there are three elements that are common to all those careers: 1) control, 2) creativity and 3) making other people happy.
Take control, for instance. Film directors and choreographers get to tell everybody what to do, but without the hassle of day-to-day management, like giving PowerPoints to upper management on their progress.
Similarly, athletes depend upon their own dedication and determination to develop their skills, while DJs make everyone else dance to their tune, literally. Video game designers have nearly complete control over the worlds that they create.
All five careers are also highly creative, in a way that's intended to entertain and inspire other people.
By contrast, here are five jobs that people like the least (lowest to fifth lowest):
- Lab technician
- Postal clerk
- Debt collector
All five of these careers lack control and creativity. More important, two of them (telemarketer and debt collector) actively make people miserable, while one (lab technician) focuses on finding out that people are sick, never a pleasant task.
Postal clerk and janitor are both useful jobs, but generally thankless and certainly not entertaining in any way. They're drudgery--necessary, but drudgery nonetheless.
The lesson here is that if you want to be happier at work, seek out jobs that give you control, allow you to be creative and, most important of all, make other people happy.
Similarly, managers who want workers to be happier should give them more control over their work environment, allow them more creativity in how they get the job done and find ways to emphasize how their job makes a positive difference in other people's lives.