IT specialists trail in happiness stakes

IT specialists trail in happiness stakes

Summary: IT specialists are not a terribly contented lot compared to hairdressers and chefs, according to the City & Guilds Happiness Index

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TOPICS: Networking
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If information technology is your chosen vocation, think again; you might be a lot happier if you switched profession and took up hairdressing, plumbing, cooking or even selling flowers.

Only one in seven IT specialists rate themselves as 'very happy' in their work, compared to one in three in hairdressers, plumbers and chefs, and one in four florists. The findings are revealed in a new City & Guilds 'Happiness Index', based on a survey of 1,054 employees both in academic professions and in vocational occupations. Overall, IT workers came in at number 19 in the happiness index.

Chris Humphries, director general at City & Guilds, said: "It's a misconception that white-collar professionals have the best jobs and are therefore the happiest. As our research proves, it's often people in vocational careers that are the most content and fulfilled."

Helping other people pays off in the happiness stakes, says City & Guilds, as topping the poll of contented occupations are the country's care assistants (40 percent are 'very happy'). City & Guilds does not delve into the reasons why IT specialists, many of whose jobs are commonly perceived to exist to help others in an organisation, score such a relatively low happiness index.

Practical work is also rewarded with happiness, boosting the position of florists and plumbers in the ranking. Again, IT specialists do not appear to fall into City & Guilds definition as hands-on workers. For those who do fall into this category, many cite appreciation as a distinct bonus with 65 per cent of vocational workers claiming they feel valued.

Learning new things (62 percent), being your own boss, (61 percent), not being chained to a desk (59 percent) and fulfilling an ambition (52 percent) also cause career celebration. But, the biggest factor in making workers happy has still not changed.

"There is an increasing trend for people to swap careers to do something more hands on," said Humphries. "A lot of employees are starting to realise that job satisfaction is more important than any other consideration, including money. You spend such a lot of time at work, it's vital to enjoy what you do."

Topic: Networking

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4 comments
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  • I believe this report. So many of my friends have taken
    anonymous
  • Comparing IT professionals to hair dressers is like comparing apples to oranges. The people who go into the IT field have much different intellectual level from the ones pursuing a career in hair dressing or cooking.

    I believe it is more fair to compare IT careers to other professional careers like accounting, medicine or law.
    anonymous
  • "I believe it is more fair to compare IT careers to other professional careers like accounting, medicine or law." What? Sure you worked hard to get your education, but don't overestimate your importance. As the economy has shown us recently, IT workers (unlike Doctors and Lawyers) can be replaced, outsourced, or just plain discarded at the drop of a hat. Most of us love what we do, but the uncertainty of the current job market and the hours we have to work takes most of the joy of our chosen field. For the most part we are forgotten and taken for granted. Doctors and Lawyers: I wish!
    anonymous
  • Lawyers, Doctors hairdressers...who cares. We're all as important in what we do. Are you going to tell the person who cleans the street at night while you're sleeping, he's not important? Just imagine what'll be like with tons and tons of rubbish all around you. Think about that! Let's not criticise the jobs but worry about what each one of us would really be happy doing. If you're not happy in what you do then just keep on seeking until you do. I am surprised though to learn 1 in 7 of IT people is happy. Every person I know in IT are satisfied, never heard any comments apart from the usual "I've had a hell of a job sorting out this and that" apart from that none. Let's face it every job has it's ups and down. Just be happy with yourselves, chillout and really think of what you want. Otherwise you will be a headless chicken and always be unhappy with whatever you're doing because you don't know what you want!
    anonymous