Happiness, Money and Careers

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on Jun 18, 2012 in , , | No Comments


Is it true, “money doesn’t make you happy”?

To a certain extent, the answer is yes. Here’s why…

Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard University (specializing in the happiness quotient), suggests people test out several careers in their lifetime. He believes it’s important to do so to keep from making decisions regarding a career solely based on money. 

Research has proven, after people make enough to cover their living expenses, their happiness doesn’t increase exponentially by making more money–sometimes it has the opposite result. One recent study actually put an annual specific dollar amount on what would make people happy. Of course, a lot depends of where you live and your lifestyle. Some states have a high cost of living, requiring more money, while others require less to live on. Basically, a salary of $50K per year seems to be a comfortable figure for many. Keep in mind, once you add children to the picture, they’ll require at least $250K to raise and that comfy $50K won’t seem enough any longer. 

Here’s what’s important: find a career with a salary that covers expenses (of course you’ll want a budget, spending like you’ve got a bottomless checking account won’t bring happiness), at the same time enjoy what you do. In your career, you’ll want to keep learning, acquiring skills, making yourself more and more valuable to employers. You can also try this free career quiz.

It’s true, money won’t bring happiness, but the right amount will allow you to live a comfortable life. Strive for that, and do work that is enjoyable, then you’ll have a winning combination.


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