Causation or Correlation?—Money and Happiness

There is a fine line between love and hate. How often do you watch a film or read a book about a lead character who dislikes their job but finds a way to change their lives and live happily ever after? How do you transition from work you are unhappy with to something tolerable? Is money the answer to making the job better?

According to a study conducted by the University of Florida’s business school, “level of pay had little relation to either job or pay satisfaction.” That’s right—if you dislike your job, a wage increase serves as a small band aide over a war wound. While it may look and feel better for several days, weeks, months, the larger issue still plagues you.

In that University of Florida study, a sample of attorneys earning $148,000 annually, on average, were not as satisfied with their jobs as a sample of childcare workers who, on average, made $23,500 per year.

Financial stability, surprisingly, is not the top priority when it comes to happiness at a job. CNN Opinion writer, Ron Friedman, wrote about job happiness. He analyzed that the cost of an employee’s psychological wellbeing can’t be bought permanently with a raise. Employees crave growth, education, and connection with colleagues, as well as a certain freedom to work within their own habits.

Friedman offers an interesting example: you are offered a job making a handsome six figure salary. Your only job duty is to stare at a wall continuously for the entire workday with nothing else to do. No computer to surf the internet, no phone to Instagram on, no book to pass the time. “Changes are you’d be miserable. Not because you’re not getting paid enough, but because your job fails to satisfy your human desires.”

Source: CNN Opinions