Happiness is a Statement

Anita HolbrowIt says a lot about modern life when the government conclude that one of the key measures needed to help determine its policies is now based on measuring whether we are happy or not.

Subjective as it is, apparently feeling happy is something we are significantly less likely to feel now vs. 25 years ago. And I suppose that if you take this as the backdrop then you have to wonder what our crinkled brows will be saying about us in 25 years’ time.

In June 2012 the government released new happiness results, gathered for the first time through including subjective well-being questions in the constituent household surveys of the Integrated Household Survey (IHS) and the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN)…165,000 people surveyed altogether!

The data breaks down by gender, age, ethnic group, relationship status, health, disability, employment status and occupation. As well as within countries of the UK, within English regions etc…   And I have to say it makes fascinating reading…

I mention it not only because the results are in themselves interesting, but because it made me really start to wonder why  we are supposedly so much less happy,  have oodles less time, have more stress, do fewer hobbies, and are far less tolerant – and need I go on?… If it’s a given that none of us start every morning thinking… right, today I’m going to work myself into a frenzy… one has to wonder why we let it happen – and who controls this un-spoken phenomenon? Perhaps we need to get a grip of it – and make a collective change!

So, back to the thing that prompted all this… here’s a little snapshot of the survey results… merely to give you the facts.

Who knows… you might even store them in the back of your mind, waiting patiently to extract them in that ah-ha! moment we all now and then achieve. You know how it is – quietly you pluck a little-known fact out from your armoury of ‘stats, facts and popular fiction’, which forms that conversational interjection, where you just know that everyone quietly thinks… Wow… That was unexpected… (or Mmm… geek-show!).

Anyway, whatever you do with this… here we go.

The four overall questions asked in the survey were:

  1. Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?
  2. Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?
  3. Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?
  4. Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?

It turns out that women are more likely to be happy than men, and at the same time more likely to be anxious – so… it looks like we females are an enigma! But combine 2 people in a relationship and
well-being improves all-round.

Where you live has an effect too. The least satisfied with life live in London and the West Midlands, the most satisfied seems to be Wales, and people in the North East seem to say they look back to yesterday and are less happy about it than people from elsewhere!

In terms of jobs, people in ‘professional occupations’ and those who are ‘managers, directors and senior officials’ seem to be the happiest. However, the lowest average score was provided by people in the ‘process, plant and machine operatives’ group.

I’m not too sure what we are meant to conclude – but it’s looking like London based, single, male, plant operator might be at one end of the scale whilst a Welsh, female business professional, in a relationship is at the other!

Not sure the template translates this simply, and it does make you wonder what the government will conclude? Perhaps they should have just asked recruiters who see all walks of life, across the UK, in every guise and employment sector what they have observed…

Of course, the other question is… are recruiters happy? And whatever the answer… the BIG question is why?

So – if we are going to take charge of this… make the change for happiness… and cause a small shift in the happiness ratings… here’s my dead-simple guide to achieve a bit of happiness every day…

  1. Always smile – it releases chemicals that actually make you feel happy… which then makes you smile even more!
  2. Help someone every day. It’s another chemical rush apparently.
  3. Walk for 20 mins outside on your own looking around and thinking about what you see. It’s a cardio blood cleanse… and it puts all things into perspective, breaks down the stress chemicals and opens up your mind.
  4. Be as polite as possible to annoying people. I know, but I promise it’s a good feeling to be on the higher ground, in control, teaching someone the lesson of humility and even breeding a small behaviour change. It’s infectious.
  5. Watch TV a bit, try not to think of or do work in the evening, say yes a few more times, and if things go wrong, don’t blame… just say to yourself… what did I learn?
  6. Remind yourself every day that you are a human-recruiter – with the intangible gift of emotional intelligence capable of sweeping away even the best parsing avatar….
  7. Oh and finally… give everyone a bit of ‘come back sauce’ as the American’s would say – and I’ll not explain it… go on and Google it for the answer… (hoping now that there isn’t another meaning for comeback sauce that pops up instead!)

Ok… that’s me done… now I’d like to know about you… are you are a happy recruiter? And if you are tell me why and share your happiness tips with all of us!


To view to full ONS results click here!

One thought on “Happiness is a Statement

  1. Im a HAPPY recruiter! Love my job love my team, love my clients, love my candidates, I nearly apologised then for being so gushy about it all but though times have changed out there in the market place I’m proud to do this job (for over 17 years) and to make a difference in peoples lives. Happiness is a state of mind , positivity breeds positivity as they say..we all have bad days of course we do but staying happy & positive in my view is the ONLY way forward..its why my clients are my friends and comeback to me time and time again…Gushing over 😉

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