A new study that uses a sample-size an entire order of magnitude greater than previous similar studies shows a shocking change in the accepted wisdom that selflessness at your job means more satisfaction.
Previous studies done by the University of Chicago indicated that professions based mainly in helping others – the clergy, firemen, teachers – were the highest-ranked in job satisfaction. While they still rate, it’s professional jobs that top the list now. The study tracked employee opinions on bosses, growth opportunities, day-to-day tasks and autonomy, culture and reputation of the company and yes, compensation.
The three specific items that stood out as most important in this new study:
- The specific tasks a job entails on a day-to-day basis.
- How much control the employee has over his or her daily tasks.
- Relationships with co-workers and customers, including supervisors and colleagues.
Careers in biotechnology ranked as the No. 1 happiest job in America. “In biotech, the people that they work with, and more specifically the person that they work for, tends to rank higher in terms of importance, and employees are overwhelmingly happy with those conditions,” says Heidi Golledge of CareerBliss. Biotechnology employees were also among the most happy with their daily tasks and the level of control they feel they have over that work. She adds that biotechnology is a growth industry, which makes growth opportunities in the field another key ingredient to its workers overall happiness.
Customer Service actually ranked second on the list, which has led some to question the methodology. But those close to the study are quick to point out the bonds of friendship forged by co-workers in the fires of a Black Friday sale and the amount of day-to-day variety these workers enjoy.
Teachers do show up at #3 on both lists, but got their satisfaction from an almost totally different source, citing the work they do and the way they can do their jobs, rather than relationships with their co-workers.