The Guardian recently carried out a survey on the most fulfilling jobs in the world. It analyzed 9 surveys on the matter and selected professions which made it to the top every time. The results were surprising. Careers like gardening, teaching, and nursing among others, topped each survey.
Construction workers and engineers too are a happy lot. From the results, the study concluded that high salaries do not guarantee happiness at work. But everyone knew that. What then makes a job fulfilling? A look at the five most fulfilling jobs in the world might help answer that question.
Despite earning an average of $50,000 (£40,000) per year, engineering appeared in 6 out of the 9 surveys. The Guardian spoke to three engineers about what they love most about engineering. Stuart Berry, a tooling engineer at Brandauer, loves solving problems at work and having the freedom to test his ideas. Using the latest technology is also at the top of his list as well as seeing his designs come to life.
For Adam Clayton, a test engineer at Intertek Transportation Technologies, it is reading favorable reviews about cars he helped create. Esther Hills, on the other hand, is happiest when she is working in a team as an engineer at BP.
Even with a salary of just under $38,000 (£30,000) teachers still made it into 5 of the 9 surveys. The first teacher the Guardian interviewed was Karina Thompson of Greenleaf School. Her greatest moment as a teacher is when she sees her students make progress in learning. Close behind is laughing with her charges in drama and gymnastics.
Meanwhile, Dougal Hand of Emmanuel School considers making the world better through teaching as the best thing about his job. His views mirror those of Martine Monksfield a deaf teacher who works with deaf children at Whitehall Primary School. She loves changing society for the better and helping deaf children meet their potential.
Like teaching, nursing also popped up in 5 of the 9 surveys. After completing a traditional or online nursing degree, nurses begin a demanding career that pays just $33,000 (£26,000). Yet they find their work fulfilling. Joanne Upton who works with cancer patients at Clatterbridge Cancer Center is one such nurse. She told the Guardian that she finds meeting and impacting new patients a rewarding and inspiring experience.
Lindsey Silker of Cosmetic Surgery Partners agrees. She loves seeing her patients transformed into confident people after a cosmetic procedure. For Jessica Carrodeguas who works at Shooting Star Chase, a children's hospice, knowing and helping children and their families is where she finds fulfillment.
Most people might find it surprising but gardeners are happy working at their $22,600 (£18,000) jobs. Horticulturalist Susie Atterbury of Therapy Garden, a community garden is one of them. Speaking to The Guardian, she spoke of the freedom of working outdoors as her job's chief attraction. To Innes Smith of the Atholl Palace Hotel, it is the beauty of nature and changing scenery that keep her interested in her work.
5) Construction Worker
The last group of happy employees works at construction sites. Forgetting the hazards of their jobs and a salary of $34,000 (£27,000), construction workers choose to see the better side of their work. Hayley Chilton of Barratt Homes told The Guardian that he finds satisfaction in building houses from scratch, as much as he does handing them over to clients. Paul Findlay of Bargate Homes concurs; handing over a house to a client is the best part of his work. He adds that decades from now, his work will still be standing.
As the jobs above prove, anyone can be happy with his or her work. The paycheck one receives is inconsequential. All that is necessary is looking into the best one's career offers them. After all, if teachers, engineers, construction workers, gardeners, and nurses can do it, everyone else can too.