Who has the happiest job?

DO you offer service with a smile or is your job simply a passport to misery?

Tom Potter

DO you offer service with a smile or is your job simply a passport to misery?

If you're a hairdresser or a beautician you'll be happy to know your career is a cut above other professions in the job satisfaction stakes.

But if you're a builder or work in a call centre, its more likely you'll be the one with a miserable face.

City & Guilds researchers asked 1,000 adults in 20 professions if they were content at work and discovered that the key to happiness is making other people look good.

Hairdressers and beauty therapists topped the list of happiest workers along with those in the Armed Forces.

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But Ipswich call centre worker Louise Ansell, supervisor at Ipswich Call Connection, disagreed.

She said: “I've been here for five years and I couldn't be happier in any other job. I started working here part time and as the company grew, I grew with it. The staff at all levels get on and work well together and we get great benefits like meals out and weekends away. I can't speak for all call centres but I think we should be higher up in the list.”

The Happiness Index also suggested that financial rewards are not the key to job satisfaction.

More important is having a good work-life balance, friendly colleagues and an interest in what you do for a living.

Fewer than half of workers said they stayed in their jobs because of the amount they were paid.

Bob Coates, managing director of City & Guilds, said: “With a clear impact on the bottom line, improving workplace happiness is rising up the business agenda and employers cannot afford to ignore it.

“Companies can no longer rely on those established reward and recognition policies that fail to resonate with employees and do little to combat stress levels in the workplace.

“By taking such a blinkered approach, they risk the rise of an unmotivated and unproductive workforce, and even potentially losing their staff to competitors.”

The survey shows that although employees attach importance to a good work-life balance, only one in five bosses are assuming flexible working practices and only one in ten managers allow their employees to work from home.

Professor Cary Cooper, an occupational psychology expert at Lancaster University, said: “It provides a call to action for the business community to rethink its reward and recognition strategies and consider employees' needs on an individual basis.

“From now on a flexible approach is needed if businesses are to create a happy, and by association productive, workforce.”

- The City & Guilds Happiness Index - Top 20 Happiest professions:-

1 Beauty Therapists

2 = Hairdressers and Armed Forces

4 Catering/Chefs

5 Retail Staff

6 = Teachers, Marketing/PR and Accountants

9 = Secretaries/Receptionists, Plumbers, Engineers and Architects

13 = Journalists, Mechanics/Automotive and Human Resources

16 Call Centre

17= IT Specialists, Nurses, Banker/Finance and Builders/Construction

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