JEANINE CELESTE PANG
The hotly debated theory that money can't buy happiness is getting another shakedown, courtesy of a new Salary vs. Happiness Chart, which shows chasing that green doesn't always beget smiles and sunshine.
No surprise there, but some findings the graph illustrates are pretty remarkable.
U.K.-based job recruitment company Michael Page tapped into the Cabinet Office's 2014 Wellbeing and Policy Report to create a scatterplot around The Happiness Curve — pitting yearly salaries against life satisfaction for 35- to 50-year-old people working in over 260 occupations.
Plenty of outliers fall both above and below the curve, but you'll never guess how the most obvious "happy outliers" compare to their counterparts near the bottom of the happiness scale. Fitness instructors, who take home an average of £10,378 per year, are happier than lawyers; dental hygienists are happier than dentists; and school secretaries are happier than actuaries. In these instances, a disparity in incomes of over £40K doesn't matter — it's all about how people feel when they clock out at the end of the day.
A near-spiritual finding? Members of the clergy are the happiest of all, with an average income of £20K and a life-satisfaction ranking of 8.291 out of 10.
Of course, some statistics seem perhaps a bit more obvious. Sticking close to the curve are "CEOs & Senior Officials," earning a hefty £111K and ranking a 7.9 on the happiness scale. We're thinking these include the Sheryl Sandbergs and Marissa Meyers of the world.
So, what's the takeaway? A plush job doesn't always translate into bliss, which is why we stick to the ol' standby: "Do what you love and the money will follow." Oh, and apparently, working out does both the body and the mind good. Now, where did we put those trainers...