10 Most Loved Jobs…(and the 10 most hated)

From the HBR Blog Network: Happiness Will Not Be Downloaded.  I draw the line on a solve being fixing things yourself Smile otherwise a great post.  A few excerpts from the post below along with the charts for the 10 Most Loved Jobs and the 10 Most Hated…

Ten Most Loved Jobs

“…The proliferation of cooking shows, blogs, celebrity chefs…taps into something more primal: it’s one of the last jobs that still does what most of us don’t — make things…In this sterile, white-collar world, where meat comes from ShopRite and homes are built by “guest workers,” cooking is the last physical job many of us can relate to.”

“…Every popular series about jobs has some physical component — Deadliest Catch, Project Runway, American Chopper, Dirty Jobs.”  Not surprisingly, no one fetishizes typing, even if it’s done loudly and with gusto. Digital desk jobs feel empty because they are empty. They deprive us of the very things that make us human: our five senses and the satisfaction of tangible output. It doesn’t have to be that way. Quietly, our bodies have been plotting a revolution.”

“…One study found that office workers are fat, mental, and bored. Then, they self-medicate with booze and coffee.  Do the math — we sleep eight hours and spend the rest sitting at work, in cars, on couches and toilets.”

“…When the National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago asked which jobs made people happiest, most of the top-10 occupations involved creating a product, engaging the senses, or helping others.”

“…When job site CareerBliss compiled its survey of the most hated jobs, the list was dominated by well-paid techies, managers, and marketers who don’t impact the world in a physical way

Ten Most Hated Jobs

“…We have a choice. We can use our amazing evolutionary gifts to create things we can touch, hear, and smell. Make it a chocolate cake, ice sculpture, or model car. But by all means, MAKE IT!”

“…While you’re at it, teach your kids to make things. There’s no shortage of amazing projects and crafts.  Give them Legos, pizza dough, or piles of lumber.  Then watch their creativity blossom…”

“…Next time something breaks, fix it yourself…”

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  1. I can certainly understand what’s wrong with the 10 most hated jobs. They sound very boring.Any of the top ones sound good to me, but I think they left out commercial fishermen. Don’t we need them? Very engaging of the senses and helps people (who would otherwise not get to eat fish).


  2. So I have more or less held three in the bottom ten and only one in the top ten. Fairly indicative, I think.

    However, the only job I can claim in the top ten (author) certainly also engages the senses (despite what the chart says) if one is writing about fishing for marlin or hunting wild boars from helicopters. Perhaps I should look for more lofty subjects and writing would become more job-like.

    Did I mention how proud I am your son going to Wake? Go Deacs. Go Young Kanigan. And congrats to Webb Simpson WFU…US Open Champion and WFU Class of ’08.


    • You’ve held 3 in the bottom ten. Hmmmmm. Probably deeper meaning and conclusions there. 🙂 Yes, Young Kanigan is pumped about Wake… And sorry, never heard of Webb Simpson…I guess I need to get up to speed.


  3. As someone who writes and spends a lot of time around art (though sadly not creating it), this makes a lot of sense to me. I remember many of my college friends majoring in finance, Econ or marketing because “that was where the $$ was,” but none of them looked very happy or excited about it. I, on the other hand, am a dual-degree holding art history major who usually has a smile on her face, despite a lower bank balance…. 🙂


  4. Alex Jones says:

    The thing that hits you about the most hated jobs are they all appear to be left-brained, the loved jobs would verge into right-brained.


  5. I think this underscores a lot about our need to create &/or feel fulfilled by helping others. The next question would be – how many people are in each profession listed and perhaps expand that to see what percentage of the population is really doing work they enjoy?


  6. Gosh, Thanks for the boost. I am a visual artist:painting and drawing. I also permit charities to use my work to help raise funds. Not making a fortune but very happy especially when I the see faces of people change for the better when viewing my art.
    Very interesting post and mostly true, I think!


  7. boldbohemian says:

    So no wonder I am unhappy in my career. I am an artist who pays the bills in law enforcement…


  8. Love these types of articles on how people rate their jobs. It can be surprising looking at these statistics from an outside point of view. Although I must say, studying law myself, I thought that profession would have ranked much higher. Also I remember back in high school (by Australian Statistics) dentists were rated as having the number one highest rate of job satisfaction and depression – interesting considering these figures from the USA. Overall, I guess it goes to prove when choosing a course/training or educational field, pick something that is of genuine interest to you… Not only where they $$$ are!


    • Hi Jess. I think you captured it in your closing line – pick a field genuine interest to you. Because even in challenging fields (and having covered the Law Industry you are in one of the most challenging), you will love what you do and find it intellectually stimulating and having purpose. Good luck in your studies and beyond.


  9. Colleen Sharen says:

    Hi David. Interesting that we have developed the expectation that we will be “happy” in our work. Perhaps this is a disease of affluence – our expectations are very high. I’m sure farmers in the 1890s never even considered the question of whether farming made them happy.

    I have held jobs on both lists – and both have provided both happiness and frustration. Good and bad. But I don’t expect my job to satisfy all of my need for purpose and meaning, for beauty and engagement. Perhaps we associate too much with what we do, rather than who we are. I get purpose from many things completely outside my career.

    So, at least for me, the question is how to create a life that can include career, but is not exclusively about career. If I don’t expect too much from my work, I’m less likely to be disappointed.


    • Hi Colleen, love your comparison to farmers or even our grandparents – who never looked to work for happiness but as a means to feed, clothe and comfort that family. You are so right – our expectations are exceedingly high. And I will store your statement: “Perhaps we associate too much with what we do, rather than who we are.” So True. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Colleen. Very thoughtful and insightful. Dave


  10. Reblogged this on Not Perfect Me and commented:
    Mmmmm… I think see that… heheh


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