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Don’t love what you do? *This* career path provides for the most happiness, a new study claims


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Your career impacts your well-being in a number of scientifically supported ways. For starters, a job that you like is worth more than a pay increase (though research has identified a salary sweet spot), it’s crucial to avoid burnout, and your sweat session could actually give your career a boost. But when it comes to actually picking the career path you should follow in order to feel fulfilled, you could turn to the Myers-Briggs test—or to a new study, the results of which showed that being your own boss is where the most happiness is at.

A study published in Work, Employment and Society included a survey of 5,000 people around the world and found that regardless of differences in industries or occupations, self-employed people enjoy their work most and feel it to be rewarding. This is despite the fact that these worker bees tend to have less job security (as they have to hustle for gigs and provide their own benefits) and often log longer hours than those employed by companies, according to a press release.

Ultimately, the researchers found that self-employed people felt most challenged and also engaged and satisfied with their work: By rising to meet the increased demands on them, self-employed people were able to achieve goals and be more innovative.

The study participants completed a questionnaire about their work environment and mental well-being. Ultimately, the researchers found that self-employed people felt most challenged and also more engaged and satisfied with their work: By rising to meet the increased demands on them, these non-nine-to-fivers were able to achieve goals and be more innovative. The study actually reported that “self-employed professionals more strongly valued personal challenge than did professionals employed in an organization.”

“Professional workers who are self-employed really value the autonomy they have. They have the freedom to innovate, express their own views, have influence beyond their own role, and compete with other companies and people.” —Dr. Peter Warr, study co-author

Study co-author Peter Warr, PhD, explained in the press release, “Professional workers who are self-employed really value the autonomy they have. They have the freedom to innovate, express their own views, have influence beyond their own role, and compete with other companies and people,” he said. “They really get to use their own expertise, so don’t seem to mind working long hours. They can find meeting high standards really fulfilling.”

Looks like being your own boss (babe) might be a path to consider. So here’s how to know whether it’s time to turn your side hustle into your full-time gig.

For more mood-boosting advice, read about how to find happiness in every part of your life and the six things science says will actually make you happy.

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