New Year, New Work-Related Happiness?


New Year, New work-related happiness?


Coming into the New Year a lot of people start to reflect on their happiness and what affects it. More often than not a significant determinant of this is the quality of career and work.

Some people strive to have maximum job satisfaction while others simply want to pay their bills. Each individual has their own personal priorities at work and it would be easy to assume that financial factors would dominate all others. Yet it seems for the majority that there are many career aspects that are prioritized just as highly as salary criteria.

CV-library surveyed 1,200 workers to reveal what people value most in the workplace. Alongside a positive salary, the findings discovered the two main factors for employees evaluating their jobs are friendly colleagues and a positive company culture. This shows that the wider work environment has a significant impact on overall job satisfaction.

Of the sample included in the survey, 48% said that having friendly colleagues is their top career priority; this was higher when looking at just women who came out with 54.9%. When asking workers what they thought to be the largest contributing element to their happiness at work, after rate of pay and friendly colleagues, 40% said a positive company culture.

Giving employees’ ample opportunities to develop themselves and move up their career ladder may also greatly impact worker satisfaction. The survey revealed having the room to progress was important to 34% of workers as well as being able to learn new skills (28%).

When talking about the survey’s findings Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, said “It’s important that businesses are offering the full package. But this doesn’t just mean fair salaries and workplace perks. A great company culture and a friendly workforce should also be a priority.”

A separate study, undertaken by a group of British researchers, found that when surveying happiness within careers, self-employed workers are generally happier than standard employees. The study discovered that due to the significant freedom related to self-employment, overall satisfaction was ultimately higher.

Self-employed workers are likely to find reaching their goals and achieving workplace satisfaction much easier. Those who are self-employed can take more control of their day-to-day work and the hours they work. When focusing on their own priorities and not someone else's self-employed workers have greater agency over their careers, which has massive positive impacts on happiness.

One of the Authors of this research, Peter Warr of the University of Sheffield stated “Professional workers who are self-employed really value the autonomy they have. They have the freedom to innovate, express their own views, have influence beyond their own role and compete with other companies and people. They really get to use their own expertise, so don’t seem to mind working long hours. They can find meeting high standards really fulfilling.”

Where ever you are in your career the New Year represents a great opportunity to take stock of where you are and for potential renewal. Evaluating your career against multiple criteria not just salary, is a good place to start. Do you have the colleagues, culture, progression opportunities and freedom that you ultimately want? If not then, it may be time to pursue that new career or work opportunity you’ve always dreamed of.

Source: CV-Library, Half of workers place salary as their TOP career priority, Feb 2018,

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