The Secrets Behind the 10 Happiest Jobs
Molly Mann | DivineCaroline
July 08, 2011
The Secret to Job Happiness: Learn a Skill?
The message I got growing up was that the more education you have, the better chance you’ll have of being successful and happy with your job. But the rankings on this list belie that notion. Most of these jobs require specialized skill training rather than a generalized education.
Matthew B. Crawford, author of Shop Class as Soulcraft, has studied the loss of this kind of skill training in favor of liberal arts programs. Based on his experience as a motorcycle mechanic with a PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago, Crawford reminds readers that so-called “trades” are invaluable both to society, for the goods and services they provide, and to the individual, for the sense of satisfaction one gets from working with one’s hands.
Deconstructing society’s prevailing bias against manual labor, Crawford questions the educational myth of separating thinking from doing, arguing that to do so degrades workers on both sides of the divide. The person who sits in a cubicle feeling impotent and isolated suffers just as much as the mechanic who is told that his is a lower kind of work.
Crawford’s argument makes sense, especially when you consider the types of jobs that are on the happiest list. They all allow for interpersonal relationships, require specialized skills that prohibit outsourcing and obsolescence, and create a sense of pride in the worker for a job well done. Without these key elements, American jobs are becoming both more tedious and more expendable, since workers with generalized education are easier to replace.
So What Did I Go to College For?
At this point, I’d really just like any job at all. And I know I’m not alone. Maybe it’s the unemployment talking, but I think that whatever job I do get will make me happy in some way, even if it’s just by allowing me to pay my bills. Every job has its pros and cons; that’s why we call it “work.” You just have to find what makes you happy about the work you do.
It’s important to remember that this survey is a broad one, based on gross numbers. There are plenty of people, I’m sure, who have jobs not on this list that they wouldn’t trade for anything. But it’s refreshing to remember that money and fame don’t equal happiness, nor does a degree from a prestigious university.
Rather, the recipe for happiness is to find something that gives you pride and connects you to others. If your job does this, no matter how much it pays or whether it makes the list, look up from your desk and smile.
This article was originally published on DivineCaroline.com.