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The Happiest Jobs in America

The Happiest Jobs in America

An outfit called CareerBliss recently released its list ofthe happiest careers. In a survey that covered nearly 60,000 employees and nearly 500 job titles they ranked the top 20 jobs that brought workers the most happiness.

Respondents rated their job happiness based on eight factors: work-life balance, relationship with coworkers, work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, and daily tasks.

And there were some surprises.

Number 20 on the list was a general manager of a retail enterprise. I don’t know about you, but I think being responsible for managing Black Friday, payroll, and personnel would be pretty stressful. But I guess if you thrive on stress, black coffee and no lunch, it could be blissful.

My chosen field of marketing consultant ranked 13 on the list. I never considered it particularly stressful or blissful. There are good days and bad days. The good days are when you solve a problem for a client. The bad days are when the client can’t bring a decision in for a landing. I think more opportunity is squandered and more productivity is lost in this country by executive indecision than anything else. 

No. 9 on the list is intern. I’d hardly call interning a career. I thought the point of interning was to parlay the experience into a full-time job? But I guess it can be pretty blissful. If you’re an intern you don’t make much money but you probably live with a platoon of roommates to share expenses or live at home.

Plus, you’re probably young and have just enough money to have fun but not enough to be encumbered by car loans, mortgages or other obligations. Weekends at the beach instead of weekends mowing the lawn or going to peewee soccer games. That sounds pretty blissful.

Number 2 on the list of happiest jobs is being a QA analyst. We do a fair amount of QA work for clients in our payments practice. I find it neither blissful nor stressful. The job is to assure clients that the quality of someone else’s project is up to the quality standards of the client.

Now, if the client brought in a QA analyst to track the work of the QA analyst…that would be stressful.

The numero uno, happiest job on the planet is being a teaching or research assistant. What’s not to like? You’re probably in an academic setting—like-minded co-workers, walk to work, world class research libraries to do your job, and insulated from many of the harsh realities of the corporate work place.

The pay’s not great, about 30 grand, on average, according to CareerBliss. But I think there is a monetary value to those eight factors.

The other thing that jumps out from the survey is that not one of the top 20 happiest jobs approaches anything close to a hundred grand in salary. No C-suite occupants. No lawyers. No doctors. I guess more money brings more headaches, but not necessarily more bliss.

I think rankings like these are interesting. But if you’ve ever been unemployed for a long time you know that there’s no job more stressful than the stress of not having a job.

Anyway, if you’re interested to see if your job is ranked as blissful check it out on CareerBliss.

But by 9:30 on any given morning you probably know the answer to that question.