Happiness at work

Are butchers happy at work? Sure thing, according to an Australian survey:

A Galaxy poll of consumers on the perceived happiness of workers found that butchers were the most friendly and contented workers in Australia, and Ricky Beaves agrees.

Mr Beaves became a butcher 35 years ago and is happy every day.

At the time I went into it simply because it was a job, he said. Im lucky that Ive always enjoyed it.

Being a successful butcher has more to do with personality than anything else, Mr Beaves said. We have fun with our customers.

So there are apparently a great many happy buthcers.

What about happy plumbers? Those exist too:

Happy Plumber

Happy dentists? Why the heck not:

Happy Dentist

Almost any job holds the potential for happiness at work. There are happy bus drivers, nurses, programmers, teachers, undertakers, sewage workers and fry cooks at McDonald’s. There are also unhappy people in every profession you can mention.

This doesn’t mean that YOU personally could be happy in any job. You need a job that lets you do what you do best. You also need to work in a company culture that fits well with who you are.

So this is not to say that anyone can be happy in any job. That would be an overly simplistic, naive assertion. But any job has the potential for happiness, with a few exceptions: If a job is exploitative, if it requires you to be a bad person or if it involves unethical behaviour, then happiness at work is probably impossible.

Update: Just found an article, which proves that you can be happy at McDonald’s – and make a lot of other people happy: McDonald’s drive-thru worker gains online fan base.

Your take

What do you think? Can you think of a job that by definition makes happiness at work impossible? What jobs have made you happy or unhappy?

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5 thoughts on “Happiness at work”

  1. Hi Alex,

    I think you’re right that happiness at work is not a simple issue but a combination of personal and work-related envronmental factors. There is no doubt in my mind though, that encouraging happiness at work is of real value to any employer. Sites like yours go a long way to helping employers understand that importance, and dealing with the complexities of dealing with it.

    I was reading another blog this morning which may add to your list of happy jobs. Phil Gerbyshak added a post about happy beer brewers.

    http://www.bizzia.com/slackermanager/happy-employees-make-better-beer/

    A short but interesting post as it illustrates that happiness at work is not just about getting a “dream job”, but getting that job with an employer who cares about its people.

    Keep up your great work!
    Phil

  2. I think its definitely possible to be happy at work as long as you’re doing a job that suits you, in an environment that suits you, with people that you get on with. It sounds like a lot of criteria, but as long as you apply to jobs that genuinely interest you rather than jobs for the sake of it to pay the bills, happiness at work is no problem at all :)

  3. I for a hundred percent agree with Alex that “any job has the potential for happiness”. I thought that I would never be happy being a dental hygienist since this wasn’t my own choice, it’s my parent’s. Whew! But then I learned to love the job, not because I pushed myself to love it but I continuously explore every new learning in my profession and this makes me look forward to go and practice.

  4. Love it!

    Especially since your article also shows how the individuals themselves can take initiative to create happiness at work – for themselves, for their colleagues and for their customers.

    I’m a huge supporter of happiness at work as a responsibility of management, however it’s a two way street and they will be more likely to support it, to “implement” it and be encouraged to maitain it, if the employees are also active creators of happiness rather than passive receivers.

    Anja

  5. Pingback: Ty

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