For nearly all of us, having a job is a must. Aside from the money earned, we perform a duty of some sort that help keeps the world go 'round. Some folks love what they do, others can't wait for the clock to strike 5 (or whenever the workday comes to a close.) And while we all can't have our "dream job," whatever that may be, finding happiness in the work we do makes life so much sweeter.

If you are just starting to plan your career or are looking for a change to improve your overall life satisfaction, consider the following careers which have been determined to have a high happiness rate. Work can be wonderful when you've got a smile on your face!

Teachers

Teacher pexels

Teachers have one of the most important roles in our lives. Their salaries may not reflect the hard work they do, but those who go into the profession do it for the love of children and the desire to make their futures brighter.

As told to Business Insider, teacher Cheryl Gferer described why teaching makes her happy. "My students teach me how to face challenges, how to behave with integrity, how be more than people expect of me, how to stand up after being knocked down. it is the most gratifying job I can imagine. I'm lucky to be a teacher."

Monster ranks teaching as one of their top 10 industries for job satisfaction. "Educators enjoy teaching the next generation valuable skills and knowledge that will help them achieve success," they explain.

Firefighters

Firefighterspexels

Their lives are on the line but that doesn't mean firefighters don't find satisfaction in the risky role they've taken on. As per Business Insider, "They have a supremely important job that's also highly rewarding. They protect people and their most sacred possessions. Second, the work environment is a good one. They develop strong bonds by spending so much time together."

America's Job Exchange adds, "Studies have shown that people's job satisfaction rises with how well their jobs are respected by society. Therefore, it makes sense that firefighters would experience such high levels of happiness with their positions." And who doesn't have appreciation for the men and women willing to risk their lives for ours?

Physical Therapists

Physical Therapist atlanticptcenter.com

Forbes notes how "social interaction and helping people" make the job of a physical therapist one of the happiest. As per the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), "Being a physical therapist is very rewarding. You will work with patients one-on-one, see them progress through treatment, and know that you are really making a difference in their lives."

Not to mention job security and a nice salary. APTA adds, "According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for physical therapists is expected to spike upward by an astonishing 34% between 2014 and 2024—a much quicker rate than average." Business Insider remarks on pay, "Salaries also tend to go up with each year spent in the field, rewarding a commitment to that career."

Accountants

Accountant gobankingrates.com

While many of us dread going to our accountant or tax consultant, the job lends itself to happiness. "This career made Forbes' 'Happiest Jobs in America List' and has even been named one of the greatest jobs by U.S. News & World Report," according to Nexxt.

As Monster explains, "A good work-life balance helps this industry nab the top spot—perhaps owed to the seasonality of the work. Reviewers in the field also heralded the fact that they're trusted to work autonomously. (They have) the ability to be relaxed and having never been chased for hours or orders by management."

Nexxt further describes why accountants are among the most satisfied workers, "Aside from good pay and job stability, accountants can be the happiest people on Earth due in large part to the job satisfaction that comes from helping people navigate rough financial territory."

If these jobs aren't your calling, consider these perks and plusses of what makes people happy at work, according to JobDig.

  • A short commute
  • Being in control of your own work
  • They are listened to
  • They are cared about
  • They are given freedom
  • Having mission-driven work
  • Being challenged and able to grow

If you are lucky enough to find one or more of these examples in your workplace or can make it happen, happiness on the job can be realized.

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.

Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.

That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?

Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

In the end, does it really matter where we work if efficiency and productivity are great? We’ve proven that companies can trust us to achieve the same results — or better! — and on time with this hybrid model. Employees can be more flexible, which boosts satisfaction, improves both productivity and retention, and improves diversity in the workplace because corporations can hire through the US and indeed all over the world.

We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.

What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.

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Did you hear about the Great Resignation? It isn’t over. Just over two years of pandemic living, many offices are finally returning to full-time or hybrid experiences. This is causing employees to totally reconsider their positions.

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