Most of us are bundled into the workplace straight out of school or university. And considering that we’ll work until we’re 60-65, that’s a long stretch if you’re not happy with your job.
If finding a more rewarding career is your New Year’s resolution, here’s where the experts think you should pack up your little cardboard box and move offices to.
A recent survey found that firefighters feel the most rewarded at work. Overall, people whose jobs involve helping or serving others are more satisfied than other professionals. (If you’d prefer to find God than a cat in a tree, clergymen and women came a close second in the survey.)
According to Payscale, the most meaningful job with the highest pay is a neurosurgeon. These brain experts typically earn $381,500 a year. And 97% believe their job is highly meaningful. In fact, medical professions round off the top three on its list, with cardiothoracic surgeons second and anesthesiologists third.
After comparing nine different surveys into job satisfaction, The Guardian discovered that engineers are happiest. One chuffed engineer, Dr Esther Hills, says, “I love working in a team…My role also requires a high level of precision and attention to technical detail, which I find very rewarding, and I like being able to work across a wide variety of engineering projects. It all offers something different day-to-day.”
- Physical Therapist
Job websites should know a thing or two about employee satisfaction. And according to careercast.com, physical therapists come out top. They improve mobility and alleviate pain in the injured, elderly and those suffering from disease. This jobs ticks the common satisfaction threads of helping people and getting hands on.
Psychologist Barry Schwartz was surprised to find that hairdressers score so high in job satisfaction. He puts it down to the mix of technical skills, creativity and interacting with clients. In his findings, hospital custodian and carpet maker completed the top three.
Business Insider came at the question from a slightly different angle, exploring the college degrees that led to the most satisfying careers. For them, teaching came out top. In particular, early childhood education, where 77% find their job meaningful. Add to that generous holiday, mid-career pay in the £30K region, and plenty of job opportunities available through sites such as Simply Education.
MyPlan.com quizzed 14,000 of its users about job satisfaction and found that singers hit the highest notes with a 91.7 happiness score. Second and third? Firefighters (again) and aircraft assemblers.
- Stay at home parent
Research from the Daily Mail and LV insurance uncovered that stay-at-home moms and dads are happier than those who go out to work. With an 87.2% happiness rating, they enjoy spending time with their children and working from home (parenting is definitely a full-time job). The ability to work from home was another plus point from jobs that score high on their satisfaction stakes.
- Florist / gardener
A City & Guilds survey discovered that florists and gardeners felt content in their jobs with a healthy mix of control, getting acknowledged for their work, and nice working conditions. Ah, fresh air, if only!
Another outdoorsy one, research from the BBC and Cabinet Office found that farmers are happy with their lot. Despite a salary at the lower end of the jobs above (£24,500 a year), the “outdoor life does seem to be associated with greater personal well-being”.
If you feel inspired by any of the jobs above, now’s the perfect time to start planning your new career, and putting yourself on the path to a healthy, happy working life.
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