Careers

What makes us happy? It turns out, money isn’t as important as you might think.

In a world where rich lists collect the wealthiest people on earth, and celebrities are idolised for their lavish lifestyles, you might think that money is what drives us. But a 2015 survey searching for the world’s happiest jobs told a different story.

Engineers came top, closely followed by teachers and nurses, with hairdressers and farmworkers narrowly missing the top spots. So, what makes a job a happy one?

Many of the people asked said that they enjoyed making a real difference, being creative and learning new skills along the way. Teachers said they looked forward to inspiring their students, while gardeners who also scored highly treasure the variety of the job.

In fact, the survey showed that the most popular jobs were not about money, but about feeling fulfilled and helpful.

So what makes a good job? Here are 5 suggestions, according to 80,000 hours.

1. Something engaging that will keep you interested.

2. A job that helps others.

3. Something that you are good at.

4. A job that fits in with your personal life.

5. Supportive colleagues.

Do you have a dream career? Read more in our special report.

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Activities

  1. Add five more tips to the list above. This time make them specific to you. What do you think is necessary for a fulfilling job?
  2. Take this quiz to find out what kinds of career might suit you.
  3. Interview someone you know about their job. Ask them how they got to where they are now, and what they like and dislike about their work.