I’ve written in the past about my belief that there are only two types of jobs that aren’t clutter: The immersed career (you love what you do with a deep passion and it’s directly linked to who you are and everything you do) and the detached job (you clock in, do your job, clock out, like your colleagues, but rarely think about work when you’re not there). All other types of employment typically create frustrations, stress, and disappointment (also known as clutter).
A recent analysis of employment data in the UK by economists Richard Jones and Peter Sloane sheds some light on why the second job I’ve described above — the detached job — might be a cause for happiness and job satisfaction. The study “Regional differences in job satisfaction” from the March 2009 issue of Applied Economics found:
Job satisfaction is significantly higher in Wales than in London and the South East, the rest of England and Scotland. This is despite the fact that among these four regions, earnings are lowest in Wales.
The study makes five conclusions as to why this is the case:
- Because unemployment is higher in Wales than in other regions, people with jobs are simply happy to have jobs.
- Industrial relations between employers and workers is perceived by workers to be better than in other regions.
- Workers in Wales are less concerned about their income as it relates to overall job satisfaction.
- Dissatisfied workers tend to move out of Wales and move into the other regions.
- The culture of Wales trends toward happier workers.
What I took from these findings is that the people of Wales tend to care about things beyond what they do for a job. Their working conditions are fine, they make enough to meet their needs, and their passions lie elsewhere. They are attached to their jobs only in the sense that they are glad that they have them.
I think a great deal can be garnered from this study for anyone who is currently feeling the clutter of their career. Can you adjust your mindset to be more like the people of Wales? Can you detach from your job so that your work stays at work? What do you think about this study and the concept of detached employment? I’m interested in reading your thoughts in the comments.
Note: The study is $30 to read online, so I recommend a trip to your local library if you wish to check it out for free.