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Survey Reveals Profile of Unhappy Worker: She’s Unmarried, 42, and a Lawyer or Doctor

Posted Sep 7, 2011 9:20 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A survey of white-collar workers has produced a profile of an unhappy person at work—and she’s likely a female lawyer or doctor.

According to the profile, the unhappy worker is a 42-year-old unmarried woman with a household income under $100,000 working in a professional position. In other words, she’s a doctor or a lawyer, according to a press release.

The profile of a happy worker, on the other hand, is a 39-year-old married man with a household income between $150,000 and $200,000 in a senior management position, with one young child at home and a wife who works part-time.

The profiles were developed from a survey of more than 670 North American white-collar workers by Captivate Network, the company that publishes news headlines on elevator and lobby screens.

According to the survey summary and a chart (PDF):

• When it comes to extreme happiness, men are consistently happier than women. Men are 25 percent happier at work than women, and 8 percent happier at home.

• Men are 35 percent more likely than women to take breaks "just to relax” and 25 percent more likely to take breaks for personal activities. Sixty-eight percent of happy people take breaks during the work day, compared to 41 percent of unhappy people.

• Seventy-five percent of men are happy with their work-life balance, compared to 70 percent of women. Eighty-nine percent of happy people leave work at a reasonable hour, compared to 49 percent of unhappy people.

• Ninety-three percent of happy people take vacations, compared to 79 percent of unhappy people.

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