More threads by Daniel E.

Daniel E.
Why Hairdressers Are Among Happiest Workers

Life Style Extra (UK)

August 6, 2007

When it comes to happiness at work, hairdressers are second only to corporate managers, a job satisfaction league shows shows.

The study shows that despite not being the best paid, those in the hair and beauty professions are rich when it comes to job satisfaction.

Unsurprisingly, well-paid corporate chiefs came out top of the pile, while health and social service managers are third most happy at the office.

In fact it seems British workers get the biggest buzz out of bossing others around - with six out of the top 10 job satisfaction occupations held by management posts.

Teachers reported a massive rise in job satisfaction since the last league was published in 1999 - rising from 54th to 11th.

But records clerks, childcare workers, secretaries and travel agents took a tumble, with experts highlighting a general trend towards lower job satisfaction for women.

Sportsmen and women were eighth most satisfied in the study by the University of Bath published in the Industrial Relations Journal that used a government survey of 22,500 employees.

Another surprise entry in the top ten were artists and writers - loving their work despite often earning little and a lack of job security.

Librarians are also happy at work, coming in 14th - despite often being viewed as boring.

Saving lives is only enough to bring health professionals in at 13th in job satisfaction.

Architects (28) and lawyers (44) were in the bottom half of the league - despite hefty pay cheques.

At the other end of the 81-profession list, least happy are production line and factory workers.

Other unhappy employees are customer service workers (78th), those in the skilled trades like plumbers (73) and even computer boffins [information technology workers] despite relatively high financial rewards (66).

Bath University Professor Michael Rose, who carried out the research, said job satisfaction did not come from money alone.

He said: "Individual job satisfaction is made up of a range of factors including material rewards, such as pay and conditions of employment, and symbolic rewards, such as prestige.

"It is also influenced by psychological rewards, such as being able to express creativity, and social rewards, such as having a supportive colleague network.

"There is a high correlation between the position of occupations now and when the last table was produced six to seven years ago."

He said the massive increase in satisfaction for teachers pointed to "real shifts" in job rewards.

He added: "The wider public is often given the picture of teaching as an occupation low in material returns and with the attractions of sense of achievement, job quality and social status in decline.

"These findings suggest that teaching professionals are now close to the top of the UK ’s job satisfaction while others, such as ICT [information and communications technology], languish near the bottom.

"The most important factor in determining the levels of job satisfaction in the survey is the managerial skill in creating a sense of involvement.

"ICT professionals emerge from the survey less satisfied with involvement, sense of achievement, job security and training provided."

On those professions that fell sharply down the league this year, he said: "These are all occupations in which women heavily predominate, confirming a long term trend towards lower women’s job satisfaction."

Prof Rose said improving job satisfaction in some professions would boost workers' health, output and would also help society.

He added: "Improving job satisfaction across occupations is complex, but could be done."
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That is a great article! I know I have a great time when I get my hair done! It's a little surprising they don't make more--they deserve it! I know it costs me about $120 every time I get my hair done...I guess taxes, space rent and supplies cost a lot.

The things that matter for me in a job are:
-A feeling of competance
-A feeling that I'm living up to my potential
-Feeling like there is skill involved that I've learned
-Doesn't stress me out
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