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  • Erin Thomas, Career Coach

Increasing Your Happiness Can Boost Your Career



“Empirical research demonstrates a relationship between happiness and career success. For example, happy people receive higher earnings, exhibit better performance, and obtain more favorable supervisor evaluations than their less happy peers. Researchers have posited that success leads to happiness, but Boehm and Lyubomirsky reviewed the relevant research in 2008 and argued that the alternative hypothesis—that happiness causes success—may be equally plausible. A decade later, we return to the literature to supplement studies we previously cited with new research and to determine whether the results of cross-sectional, longitudinal, and experimental investigations provide additional support for this hypothesis. We conclude that the evidence continues to persuasively suggest that happiness is correlated with and often precedes career success and that experimentally enhancing positive emotions leads to improved outcomes in the workplace.[Julia K. Boehm, Sonja Lyubomirsky, 2018, Journal of Career Assessment]


Americans are the most unhappy people in the world!

Anti-depressant usage in the US has increased 400 percent since 1994, according to ABC 13 news. This probably isn’t news to any of us, considering how American culture values and glorifies material wealth, substance use like alcohol, fast food, diet culture, commercial religion, and quick fixes for just about anything. Just look at how pervasive some of these unproductive values are in our society, like the glorification of luxury cars, [MC Big Data, 2015, Medium] and how material attitudes and goals tend to have a lower life satisfaction in the long run. [Nickerson et. al., 2003, Psychological Sciences]


Studies also show that higher salaries don’t cause higher levels of happiness, to a point. In fact, even though financial stability brings a certain level comfort and happiness, a 2017 study from Gallup and Time showed that joy and elation peaks when people hit a certain level of income. In other words, chances of experiencing positive emotions (happiness, enjoyment and laughter) can increase with household income, but only to a limit depending on where you live. Surprisingly, data suggests that if you live in NYC, LA, Seattle, or Philadelphia your happiness (or positive emotions) will not increase after $99,000-$105,000. If you live in Chicago, the salary cap for increased happiness is $54,000, and Atlanta is $42,000.


50-10-40 Rule