We are happiest when we’re paid by the hour
Using cross-sectional data from the US, two studies found that income was more strongly associated with happiness for individuals paid by the hour compared to their non-hourly counterparts.
You’d think making bank would make you not care whether it’s a salary or not.
Although I know this does not mean you should all rush out and become a freelancer. You can still work at a job but get paid by the hour, when you are able to file for overtime for instance, I am definitely a convert.
A salary tells me: I pay you by the dates, by the year, so your hours don’t really count.
This is why if you are in a salaried position, DO NOT waste your time (AND MONEY) being there for more than what you are paid for — 40 hours a week. 50, max — unless you have something serious to gain.
You will always regret all the sweat, blood and tears you put into your company with absolutely no return on their end except the expectation that you’ll keep doing it.
So don’t work overtime and weekends without a clear gain in sight — e.g. you will get a promotion, the boss will give you more money, etc.
As a freelancer, I also envy sick days because I’m very careful not to get sick and lose money.
- Read: Is it worth it to be a self-employed and pay into Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) to get maternity and sick leave?
Via. Best comic series ever.
Want to know what else makes you happy?
Above making $75,000 a year, people really aren’t that much happier
My theory on this is that they probably follow an ideal household budget like what I’m doing for 2013 where I budget like a freelancer.
They spend a certain amount net per year, and the rest, gets banked.
Read: How much do I secretly want to save each year?
Therefore, we don’t get to experience the “happiness” above $75,000 because it’s the same spending on the same stuff to us.
My other theory, is that people who make a lot of money, trade off a lot, such as their time, being away from their families, or just being sleep-deprived, which brings me to the next point…
As for the time a job takes, sleep-deprived professions are also some of the ones that are the unhappiest
- Home health aides
- Police officers
There are also other factors that go into how happy you are at your job.
You need a job where you can excel and use your talents
This comment really stuck with me, when Kerry pointed out that you need to have a career that you can do a bang-up job in by using your skills and talent.
This is probably the truest (aside from the money and the amount of time I don’t have to work), thing for me to choose between one project or another… or not working at all.
(Yes I turn down contracts I think will be awful, brainless work, and wait for something better because I’d rather not work than take on a stressful, bad contract and be utterly resentful the entire time.)
I need a job where I can do what I do best. If you don’t let me do my job the way I want to do it, I get really frustrated and angry.
Or SCREW IT ALL, and just outsource your job to China
(Okay I’m being a BIT glib in saying that…)
From The Register:
A security audit of a US critical infrastructure company last year revealed that its star developer had outsourced his own job to a Chinese subcontractor and was spending all his work time playing around on the internet.
The VPN traffic logs showed a regular series of logins to the company’s main server from Shenyang, China, using the credentials of the firm’s top programmer, “Bob”.
[Bob] was paying them a fifth of his six-figure salary to do the work and spent the rest of his time on other activities.
(That’s about $20,000 if we assume he earns $100,000 a year)
In his performance assessments by the firm’s human resources department, he was the firm’s top coder for many quarters and was considered expert in C, C++, Perl, Java, Ruby, PHP, and Python.
Hat tup to The Monevator
Can you imagine?
Actually what I can’t imagine is spending your whole day and wasting your time for years, by just browsing Ebay, Reddit, Facebook, and watching YouTube cat videos. I’d be bored out of my skull.
Still, he was certainly no slouch in the organizational behaviour and negotiations department to get a 6-figure salary, then figure out a way to get someone else to do the work for him.