Adapted from Layard (20031)
An average job is great- at lunchtime Education is more than preparing a future work force- and an examination of average happiness levels in a working day illustrates a reason why it must never play that primary role. Layard (20031) illustrates the data from Kahneman et al (2003), derived from their analysis of the changes in average happiness levels through the working day. Examine the graph below: The implications are unfortunate: A worker in an average job seems to have their happiest moments during their lunch breaks and after their job has finished for the day! Do you think students should be informed of this- especially those who say, “I just want to leave and get a job...”? More than a jobs worth? Happiness levels vary greatly of course between different jobs. The consideration of average likely happiness levels of careers in different professions should be a discussion topic with learners when they are considering their options. Have a look at the professions in which workers report highest levels of happiness. As you read through the list, consider how each one provides aspects from Martin's list of characteristics of happy people. In particular, look for opportunities in each profession for the big happiness promoters of connectiveness, engagement, control, purpose and meaning, regular experience of flow.
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