10 Careers Reporting the Lowest Levels of Happiness

Lorie Woodruff
3 min readJan 21, 2024

Not all employers provide their employees with compelling reasons to stay, and for those who do, attaining happiness and satisfaction can be a challenging endeavor. Identifying which professions report the lowest levels of happiness sheds light on the factors contributing to workplace dissatisfaction.

A comprehensive 85-year Harvard study on happiness underscores that jobs characterized by isolation, where employees either lack colleagues or work in such a fast-paced environment that interpersonal connections are scarce, tend to result in the least reported job satisfaction.

Let’s see which jobs report the lowest levels of happiness.

  1. Pharmacy technician

This job involves working in a pharmacy, locating, packing, and labeling patient medications. This work is then reviewed by the pharmacist on duty. Unhappiness in this job appears to stem from a significant lack of growth opportunity in the field.

2. Project engineer

These employees ensure engineering projects remain on time and within budget. They aren’t usually involved in the actual engineering work, just the paperwork and reporting to higher-ups — which likely contributes to their dissatisfaction.

3. Teacher

Despite having one of the most meaningful jobs in the country, teachers rank lowest on the happiness scale. This seems to be largely due to out-of-touch administrators, unreasonable parents, low pay, and chronic underfunding that results in having to cover the costs of their classroom materials.

4. Administrative assistant

Although frequently considered on par with secretaries or receptionists, administrative assistants often tackle many more duties than either one. Handling all the paperwork, clerical responsibilities, and scheduling for a boss creates a high amount of stress. Pair that with typically low pay, and you’ve got a recipe for unhappiness.

5. Cashier

Cashiers are often working when everyone else is out enjoying their weekends and holidays. Add terrible pay, cranky customers, and having to keep a smile on the entire time, and it’s no surprise that this ranks as one of the unhappiest jobs.

6. General manager

Having to be the person who shows up whenever a customer asks the dreaded question, “Can I speak to the manager?” can be extremely stressful. After all, long hours and entitled customers don’t exactly make for a welcoming work environment.

7. Data analyst

These employees spend their days collecting and studying data in order to present their findings to the company. It can be a lonely job where social interaction is limited, and the work itself is often repetitive. This likely contributes to its low ranking in happiness.

8. Customer service representative

As unhappy as you are to be talking to a customer representative, chances are they’re even more unhappy to talk to you. Who can blame them? They spend their days speaking with customers who have a problem that needs solving and are often frustrated — and some people aren’t exactly polite about it.

9. Retail salesperson

This is the person on the floor of the store, walking around and helping customers find what they need. Granted, this role has been greatly reduced thanks to the advent of internet shopping, so the salespeople who are still employed are often undersold by websites. High levels of stress and low levels of pay also contribute to unhappiness.

10. Sales account manager

This role usually involves wearing many hats, from managing customer relationships and overseeing the performance of sales representatives to maintaining sales activities records and making sure team objectives are achieved. If this sounds like a lot of responsibility, well, it is. And the pay doesn’t always reflect the amount of work and stress that goes into being a successful sales account manager.

It can be hard to find happiness in a workplace that doesn’t make its employees feel valued. Avoiding a career that makes you unhappy, whatever the reason, can go a long way toward changing your outlook in every aspect of life. Life is too short to stay in a job you hate.

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Lorie Woodruff

Helping Realtors and Entrepreneurs market and monetize their businesses using successful online strategies ✅Start here: https://linktr.ee/loriewoodruff