Ranking Up

TIME had an awesome article this week: Happiness on the Job. The question is how much is happiness related to work? Are people who make more money in their jobs happier? Are people who are more educated happier? How happy will I likely be in my future job (based on what other people already in that job think)? The results are interesting.

It is hard to make sweeping generalities based on the results you can view on that web page, but here are some things I think about it:
  1. It appears that the people in some of the happiest jobs (clergy, architects, actors, directors, lawyers, physicians, economists, etc.) are paid to use their heads a lot. Their jobs require them to think, analyze and even philosophize about life. Some of the least happy jobs (amusement park operators, freight operators, roofers, messengers, construction workers, etc.) are not really paid to do that.
  2. It also appears to me that the jobs toward the top in happiness also require some guts. It takes a lot of school to become a lawyer or doctor, a lot of experience to become a director or actor, and a lot of faith and confidence to become a clergy member or a professional athlete. The people I know personally either in these jobs, or currently preparing for them, didn't just fall into the field. They have worked hard and had a lot of guts.
  3. Lastly, I notice that some careers aren't listed. Although the website has more jobs listed than were in the magazine, it still leaves quite a few out (United Nations work perhaps?). I know it isn't comprehensive, but it would be nice if there were more careers listed out.

I know the whole thing is a little confusing, but I think overall it is a very interesting chart. Often we jump into careers because we heard they were available, or hard to do, or easy to do, or they just paid a lot. I think a better reason to jump into a career is because you think it will make you truly happy.