Harvard study over 85 years: The unhappiest jobs are also some of the loneliest



85-year Harvard study found that people with this type of job tend to be the unhappiest

Published Sun, Mar 19 20239:30 AM EDT

Morgan Smith

The unhappiest jobs are also some of the loneliest, according to an 85-year study from Harvard researchers. 

While particular roles can’t be reliably correlated with dissatisfaction and burnout, certain job characteristics can be, Robert Waldinger, MD, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one of the longest-running studies on happiness,tells CNBC Make It

Jobs that require little human interaction and don’t offer opportunities to build meaningful relationships with co-workers tend to have the most miserable employees, thestudy found. 

Since 1938, Harvard researchers have gathered health records from more than 700 participants from all over the world and asked them detailed questions about their lives every two years. 

The secret to living a happier, healthier and longer life, they concluded, isn’t money, professional success, exercise or a healthy diet — positive relationships are what keep people happy throughout their lives. 

This applies to our jobs, too. “It’s a critical social need that should be met in all aspects of our lives,” Waldinger explains. “Plus, if you are more connected to people, you feel more satisfied with your job, and do better work.”

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