Working Toward Happiness

A study shows that working in the private sector can cost you — literally.

von Sydney Mengel, January 1, 2018

Believe it or not, but there is a more effective way to improve your day-to-day happiness and the solution is right under our noses — our jobs. The Journal of Psychology published a study, which was conducted in the UK, which revealed that those working in the nonprofit sector are more likely to be happier than those working in the private sector.

In the study, data on a total of 13,752 — 12,786 working in the private sector and 966 in the not-for-profit sector — was analyzed and the results showed third sector workers happier than their counterparts. So, working for a charity, social enterprise or any other not-for-profit organization actually can drastically increase your happiness levels.

During the study there were a few other discoveries as well. Not only were those working in the third sector more happy, but those working in the private sector would have to earn another 27,000 pounds per year just to achieve the same happiness level as not-for-profit workers. Higher pay, though, is not always correlated with higher pay satisfaction. The study also showed that those working in the third sector were just as satisfied with their pay level as those in the private sector, even though they earned significantly less.

So why are those working in the not-for-profit sector happier than private sector workers? Third sector workers are more inclined to enjoy their day-to-day activities more than their counterparts, thus resulting in being happier and feeling that they are playing a useful role in their lives. Not-for-profit workers are more satisfied with the work they are doing, the hours they work and job security, these are the driving factors to increased happiness.

So, what are you waiting for! If your goal is to live a happy life while doing meaningful work, now you know what to do!

Originally published June 6, 2016