The key to career happiness is to follow your childhood dream, new research has revealed.
It feels clichéd to say it but, as someone who dreamt of being paid to write while trying to make the world a little bit better, I feel blessed to have found career happiness and have followed my dream.
Here at BlueSky, we work with academics who are carrying out research that genuinely changes industries, societies and the lives of individuals. Through our work, we’ve connected a researcher with the UN to provide advice on how to tackle terrorism, we’ve introduced a professor to the British Government to offer guidance on the future of work, and we regularly put research in the spotlight that influences the way the public thinks about important topics such as diversity, equality and sustainability.
Our examples really do go on and on.
So when my Dad sent me a clipping from a newspaper - which he often does - that found following your childhood dreams could have an impact on future happiness, I felt lucky that I was one of those people.
But what did the findings say about career happiness?
The survey, by Perkbox Insights which questioned 1,567 people, found that found a whopping 92% of people who ended up in their childhood dream job are happy in their career as an adult. (Having said that, 84% of those who did not end up in their childhood dream are still happy in their job too.)
In fact, looking further into these findings, about a third of people surveyed got into their current role because they are interested or passionate about the industry, and a huge 99% of these people are happy in their jobs!
My colleague Kyle Grizzell, for example, posted an interesting tweet months before he applied to BlueSky Education PR…
Recruitment Company: what do you enjoy doing?— Kyle (@Kyle_Grizzell) December 5, 2018
Me: I enjoy writing and being creative...
RC: Cool sounds like you'd fit...
Me: ...but I also like numbers and research and working with data.
Me: find me job plz
His desire to write and be creative, while working with numbers, research and data, made him a perfect fit for our team.
Kyle’s route into PR chimes with some of Perkbox’s other findings, that various routes into jobs which lead to workplace happiness include those who got into their job as it suits their talents – 25% – which has led to 95% of these people being happy at work. Further, 15% work in their role as it matches their educational studies, and 94% of these people are happy.
Is it all about the work itself though?
People have been shown to be happy in their jobs because they are pursuing work that they have always wanted to do, but other things certainly make us happy at work too.
What makes me happy is a varied mix of meaningful work, fantastic colleagues, supportive management, impressive clients, a great HQ location, opportunities to travel and so much more. But ultimately, I have always wanted to use words (I completed a journalism degree) and have an impact on others. I genuinely believe I am happy at work because I love these aspects of my role.
Other research backs this up too. We recently worked with a study from Rotterdam School of Management RSM at Erasmus University which revealed the biggest motivator at work was love.
The researchers commented that millennials, in particular, seek fulfilment from their professional lives – but we often forget about personal connections, compassion and even love at work. But if managers want to motivate and keep their staff, they should actually appeal to their employees’ passion and desire.
Hold on to your dreams
For most of us, a big portion of our days is spent at work. To be precise, research has shown that the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. It's safe to say your job makes a huge impact on your quality of life.
And Perkbox’s study confirms that the majority of adults never really get over their childhood dream jobs and are happier if they pursue them. So for those dreaming of careers in PR… writing, working with fascinating research, and so much more… don’t give up. Happiness awaits.