career

Interns are happier than senior executives, but we can't stop obsessing over that promotion.

The word “balance” is something we’ve heard since we were little. We listened to our parents talk about “balance” when they were discussing work and what we might do on the weekends. We saw politicians and celebrities on the covers of magazines talk about the importance of “balance” when it comes to finding happiness and sustaining relationships.

But only now, entering my mid-20s, am I starting to understand what this term “balance” might mean.

Watching friends climb the corporate ladder, and seeing how their careers take shape and form a life of their own, is interesting. (It can also be envy-inducing.) As these jobs are taking over, I find time is becoming more precious. It’s running faster. We start to hear that word “balance” quietly muttered once again.

Then I watch the women at work who have families as well as careers. I listen to them talk about finding school socks and trying to get people in the car on time and trying to remember the ham in the fridge for the lunch sandwiches all before getting to work for a 9am meeting. For these women, keeping up seems more like a mouse on a wheel. The word “balance” has never been so important.

For these women, as with all of us, one of the key elements in finding this balance is happiness at work.

Now, the types of jobs that make women happiest have been revealed.

survey by Fairygodboss – a website that lists job and employer reviews “for women, by women” – looked to how women rate their work in terms of “happiness”. Here’s what was found.

The happiest jobs for women:

1. Senior Program Manager

2. Senior Product Manager

3. Sales Representative / Principal / Senior Marketing Manager

4. Intern

5. HR Manager / Recruiter (tie

6. Managing Director

7. Program Coordinator

8. Senior Analyst

9. Specialist

10. Finance Manager

11. Operations Manager

12. Associate Attorney / Administrator / Project Coordinator (tie)

13. Editor

14. Executive Director

15. Producer / Senior Associate

16. Senior Manager

17. Assistant Director

18. Vice President

19. Attorney

20. Business Manager

Yes, it’s a diverse list. Yes, there are a lot of variables. And, yes, there are a lot of titles.

Your personality, the type of company you’re employed by, the temperament and support of your manager and staff all affect your happiness at work. It’s a difficult concept to pin down to specific titles and positions.

But these results do teach us one thing.

The fact that these “happiness jobs” span across so many levels – from interns to executives and principals – debunks the myth that happiness in a career is dependant on that next promotion.

So many women are always searching for the next step, almost forgetting to feel happy and satisfied in the position they’re in.

I think millennials are guilty of this, more than any other generation.

These results are a reminder of the importance of balance. How happiness should be an indicator of success more than pay packages or promotions.

But more than this, these findings show that happiness in our career has nothing to do with money or promotions.

That sometimes, being balanced just as we are, where we are, with the job title we have, might make us happier than ever.

We’ve just got to allow ourselves to feel it.