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Money really doesn't make you happy

19 Apr 2007

Money really doesn't make you happy If you're sick of being a poor, debt-ridden student and keen to get a well-paid job, then be a bit careful. Recent job satisfaction surveys in both the UK and the US have discovered that money really doesn't make you happy.

A survey by education and training organisation City & Guilds has shown that in the UK, those in higher-paid employment are generally the least happy.

Managers, lawyers and bankers, traditionally high earners, actually rank among the least satisfied. In contrast, hairdressing seems to be the happiest profession, with 60 per cent of hairdressers saying they looked forward to returning to work after a day off.

Research conducted by the National Opinion Research Centre (NORC) at the University of Chicago revealed similar findings. In the US, however, it's members of the clergy who seem to be the happiest workers. Other professions with high levels of job satisfaction included firefighters, teachers, painters, psychologists and authors.

This is explained by Tom W Smith, director of NORC's General Social Survey, who says: "The most satisfying jobs are mostly professions, especially those involving caring for, teaching and protecting others and creative pursuits".

So, job satisfaction seems to be linked with personal fulfilment and social, rather than financial, status. The exception is the medical profession: being a doctor is highly socially rated in both the UK and the US, but time pressure, high levels of responsibility and stress undermine their levels of job satisfaction.

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