3 things that should make you happier at work but don’t

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Research shows that half the UK workforce will look for a new job in 2016, but the reason for searching might not always be the best reason for leaving an employer. Guardian Careers journalist Charlotte Seager points out some of the things people think will make them happier at work but actually won’t.

1 More money equals happiness
While research supports the idea that life satisfaction increases with salary, the correlation plateaus at around £50,000 a year. Psychologist Dr Ronald Riggio also notes that our perception of pay is based on what others are making, so you’ll always be unhappy with your salary if you know somebody out there is making more than you.

2 Holidays make everything better
One factor people turn to for happiness is more holiday time, but that only really helps if being at work is what’s making you miserable. Otherwise, it could have exactly the opposite effect. Riggio says holiday works much the same as pay, whereby we get used to the amount of time we have off and start to desire more.

3 A promotion will change the situation
A study of high-level executives measured their job satisfaction over a period of five year. The results showed that after an initial spike in happiness directly after getting a promotion, their satisfaction fell within a year. On the other hand, managers who stayed in the same role throughout the study showed few signs of a dip in happiness.

So what will make you happier? Seager says the key is striving to achieve your goals. You’ll get a greater sense of accomplishment than you would simply securing a pay rise or more holidays. Find something you really want to do – gain a qualification or learn a new skill – and work hard to do it. You can give yourself a pat on the back when it’s done and bask in the happiness.

Read the original article at bit.ly/1VPQsFd

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    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson