Spring into happiness

Spring is upon us! For most of us, spring evokes familiar images of Easter eggs, flowers, and longer, warmer days to come. However, according to our members, spring is also the time of year when you’re happiest with your job.

Across the country, employees report the biggest increase in job satisfaction when winter weather gives way to spring, boosting overall job happiness by 13 percent. Are you ready to be 13 percent happier?

While overall job satisfaction increases across the country from winter to spring, the variance of the increase was also dependent on things like regional climate, and a person’s job industry and salary. In colder American job markets, like Boston, New York, and Chicago, working professionals are 30 percent happier to see spring come than their counterparts in warmer markets like Los Angeles, Houston, and Miami. Makes sense right? If your winter is colder, then of course you’ll be happier to see spring than someone in a warmer climate.

But hold on, after further analysis, we discovered that people in colder markets report an average job satisfaction level 28 percent higher all year long than warmer markets (even those toughing it through famously cold Boston winters). Let’s look into why…

  • Warmer job markets have a higher percentage of sales professionals
  • Regardless of location, season,  AND salary, sales professionals generally report higher levels of dissatisfaction
  • Colder weather markets have a more even distribution of professions across their top job types

Basically, more sales employees with a less diverse job market means that no matter how beautiful it is outside, that market is relatively less happy with their jobs.

TheLadders unearthed lots of other interesting trends; here are some highlights:

  • Happiest Job Market: Washington, DC,
  • Unhappiest Job Markets: Sacramento
  • Happiest Professions: Law, Tech, and Accounting & Finance
  • Unhappiest Professions: Real Estate, Sales, and Education

One more interesting trend showed that the axiom, “mo’ money mo’ problems” is actually true. Professionals making or “about to make” $100k proved to be the happiest, meaning there is a psychological factor in starting to make six figures (something employers could leverage in raises/bonus considerations), even though the difference between $90k and $100k is nominal in your take-home pay.

Additionally, the trend data shows quickly diminishing returns on incremental salary as employees near the $200k mark. Across all industries, professionals reported being less happy the more money they made after $170,000 per year. Think about that: on average, professionals making $240,000 a year reported being slightly unhappier than those making $40,000.

So who is the prototypical happiest worker in the country? Drumroll please…our analysis shows that a city-dwelling techie, who works in the northeast during the spring months, and makes six figures (but under $200k) is the happiest employee in the country. Conversely, if you find yourself working a sales job in Sacramento, perhaps this research will persuade you to pack your bags and take a cross-country road trip this spring.

*This study analyzed the behavior of over 390,000 TheLadders members over the past two years.

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