Peter H Brown Clinical Psychologist

Psychology News & Resources

Why Your Job Doesn’t Make You Happy

Information supplied by The British Psychological Society

Read the original research paper here (PDF)

People who are unhappy in life are unlikely to find satisfaction at work. This is the finding of a study published online last thursday, 1st April 2010, in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

Assistant Professor Nathan Bowling of Wright State University, USA, and colleagues Kevin Eschleman and Qiang Wang undertook a meta-analysis on the results of 223 studies carried out between 1967 and 2008. All of the studies had investigated some combination of job satisfaction and life satisfaction (or subjective well-being).

Assistant Professor Nathan Bowling said: “We used studies that assessed these factors at two time points so that we could better understand the causal links between job satisfaction and life satisfaction. If people are satisfied at work, does this mean they will be more satisfied and happier in life overall? Or is the causal effect the opposite way around?”

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The causal link between subjective well-being and subsequent levels of job satisfaction was found to be stronger than the link between job satisfaction and subsequent levels of subjective well-being.

“These results suggest that if people are, or are predisposed to be, happy and satisfied in life generally, then they will be likely to be happy and satisfied in their work,” said Nathan Bowling.

“However, the flipside of this finding could be that those people who are dissatisfied generally and who seek happiness through their work, may not find job satisfaction. Nor might they increase their levels of overall happiness by pursuing it.”

Read the original research paper here (PDF)

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April 8, 2010 - Posted by | Books, depression, Health Psychology, Positive Psychology, research, Resilience | , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Well, I sure like the cover of this one! Denice Kronau also has some great advice on how to be happy at work, based on her own experience, and what happened to her when she walked away, just wrung out. She’s back at the same job, happier than ever, and has lots of tips for the rest of us (and she’s had a mighty cool career, that’s taken her around the globe). The teacher who we need to guide is is within us — and we have so many lessons inside of us, if we just pay attention and listen.

    Comment by Liz | April 8, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the link Liz! It’s a great blog and the book looks good too. I’ll check it out. Cheers!

      Peter

      Comment by peterhbrown | April 8, 2010 | Reply


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