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Happy, Healthy Jobs – Occupations that Boost Well-Being

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“How in the hell could a person enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, … brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?” That quote, by the late author and poet Charles Bukowski, summed up his personal view of the American workforce. It was a view tainted by a number of menial jobs that gave him little to no satisfaction, and eventually drove him to the typewriter, where he would become one of the most recognized literary figures of the 20th century.

Today, millions of Americans feel just as unsatisfied as Bukowksi once did. They’re unhappy with their wages, working conditions, workplace relationships, or prospects for career advancement. Studies have shown which career fields are most gripe-worthy, producing not only unsatisfied employees but unhealthy ones as well, with increased rates of obesity and smoking. Fortunately, those same studies indicate which career fields produce workers who are happy and engaged, utilizing their skills and building healthy interpersonal relationships with co-workers and supervisors. Satisfied workers tend to be healthier and happier, and have a more beneficial work-life balance.

Companies also benefit from creating work environments that produce happy, healthy employees. Studies show that workers who are satisfied with their occupations are more productive and efficient, whether they’re standing at the front of a classroom or diagnosing illnesses. In addition, companies benefit through reduced employee burnout and turnover. Companies that can avoid spending their time and money prospecting for new employees and training them reap the benefits of employees who are content in their current roles. Prospective students or those looking to make a career change can utilize this research to help them decide on a rewarding career path, because while you might respect Bukowksi’s work, you don’t have to agree with his views on it.

Happy, Healthy Jobs: Occupations that Boost Well-Being
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Joey Trebif

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