First, let's ask: What criteria should you consider when searching for a fulfilling career?
A common method is to prompt you to reflect on the activities that have brought you the most satisfaction in the past. Then, assist yourself in identifying potential career paths that align with those interests.
It's great to take some time to think about what makes you happy and what your dream job would be, but it's also important to recognize that self-reflection can only take you so far.
In the last few decades, a lot of research shows that we're bad at predicting how happy different activities will make us.
It is a common bias to assess the enjoyment of an experience based on its level of pleasure at the end. Professor Dan Gilbert from Harvard discusses this idea in his book, Stumbling upon Happiness.
It is commonly believed that four criteria make for a good job:
- Low Stress
- Not an unpleasant working environment
- High Salary
- High Growth Rate Positions.
Certain job categories with all these components include an auditor, risk advisor, or bank cashier.
Is anyone interested in becoming an auditor?
This suggests that these traits are inaccurate.
I don't think you should be aiming for an especially high salary and rather than aiming for an easy job I think you should be aiming for a challenging job
Can you explain why you are not interested in earning a higher salary?
As you earn more money, the level of happiness you experience with each additional increase in income decreases gradually.
On the side, there's a section for self-reported life satisfaction. This asks individuals to rate their satisfaction with their life on a scale of one to ten. On the bottom, there's a section for household income.
You can observe these distinct, straight lines that are visually pleasing.
The lines we view appear straight instead of curved, which differs from what we saw. This is because the bottom now has a logarithmic scale.
It shows that you must double your income to get an extra half point of happiness on a one to ten scales. That's a lot of income for a very small increase in happiness.
In modern psychology, stress is not simply categorized as all stress is bad. It is better represented by a graph with two axes. The first axis measures the number of demands placed on an individual, while the second axis measures their ability to cope with and manage those demands.
You may feel bored or stressed from aimlessly drifting through life if you don't have many responsibilities.
In situations where you have numerous responsibilities but limited authority, it can feel like a nightmare scenario. You may have many goals to achieve but lack the autonomy to make decisions and take action to succeed.
If you're looking to be in the right place, it's important to have both high demand and the ability to handle it. It will lead to a fulfilling experience.
The message is that you shouldn't seek an easy job. Rather seek out these supportive conditions and then challenge yourself.
So what should you be looking for in a fulfilling career?
According to Professor Martin Seligman, positive psychology research over the past 20 years has identified five key factors contributing to human well-being. These factors can be summarized as follows:
- Positive Emotions: Societal respect & regard.
- Engagement: Work is absorbing
- Relationships: with other professors.
- Meaning: Crafting the life of youngsters
- Accomplishments: Academic Debate
Considering those pointers, is being a professor a better job than being an IAS?