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What is the Link Between Job Title and Happiness?

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

In an effort to find the optimal point between success and fulfilment we're exploring elements of the American Dream. Yesterday we looked at the relationship between economic success and happiness. Today we'll be exploring the link between Job Title and happiness.

Job Title and Happiness

A better job title almost always linked to better financial success. Since we just looked at that we're going to be examining job title and happiness through the acheivements themselves.

A new survey from Prof. Dr. Jochen Menges suggests women experience less emotional benefits from receiving a promotion compared to men. The research team asked around 15,000 participants to rate how often they feel certain emotions at work, ranging from confidence and contentment to boredom and disgust. The survey asked the participants where there place was in the corporate ladder and the results showed "men’s positive emotions increase more strongly than women’s when they are moving up the rank." It's worth noting that feelings of happiness were measured short term, but overall and long-term happiness was not. As mentioned before, happiness is relative. It's possible men moving up the corporate ladder tend to be happier because they compare the dopamine received in a promotion from social compliments and money to a neglected home life.

Menges's Personal Group's research explores longer term effects of workplace happiness and shows women are happier at work than men. It's worth noting the sampling was significantly smaller and was targeted to (1,200 participants in the UK), but the research found "by the time women reach the top of their organisation, as directors or company owners, 70% are enthusiastic about their job 'often/most of the time,' versus only half of male company owners and directors." Further research shows women tend to pick work they describe as more fulfilling and worthwile compared to men. If someone is searching for short term happiness, promotions are the way to go, but for fulfillment it's more important to focus on choosing work you actually like.

It's clear doing something worthwhile contributed to feelings of purpose, which is a predictor of life happiness, but according to the American dream, it's not enough to be good quietly, but does status lead to happiness? You can find out tomorrow when we explore the merits of fame.

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