If you woke up this morning not feeling on top of the world, there could be a good reason. This week sees the return of Blue Monday, the third Monday of January that’s claimed to be the most depressing day of the entire year.   

Although first dreamed up as a PR stunt to sell off-season holidays, it’s now generally accepted January 21st is not normally a highlight in most people’s calendars. 

And for many it’s not the dark days or winter weather but work woes that adversely affect their moods. 

The truth is workplace wellbeing is often overlooked as a factor in how we feel… and yet there are many career options that can offer high levels of happiness. Employee surveys consistently flag up professions where job satisfaction, even with heavy workloads and medium levels of stress, produces that all-important feel-good factor in our lives. 

In the Boundless Happiness Index, a survey that measured happiness at work and in life, ranked Plymouth the happiest city in the UK. In fact, 83% of its citizens said they were happy in life and 21% said they were very happy. Plumbers topped this table with 55% saying they were ‘very happy’ in life. Despite having to deal with leaking pipes and blocked loos, not a single plumber in the survey said they were unhappy with their lot. 

Coming in a close second in the premier league of life contentment were builders, with 38% professing to be very happy with their lives, despite often working outdoors in all kinds of wet and windy weather. In the same survey electricians proved not only to be bright sparks but happy bunnies with 50% claiming to be very happy in their jobs. 

When it came to happiness in the everyday workplace, it was property developers who came out number one, with 57% claiming to be very happy – perhaps not surprising, considering the healthy financial rewards usually involved in this line of work. Advertising, meanwhile, was a very happy place for 42%. 

The world of advertising was also a career oasis in the 2018 Happiness Survey, carried out by One4all Rewards, which asked more than 1000 employees how content they were in their current roles. In fact, older male workers employed by micro-businesses in advertising – as well as marketing or communications – were happier than any other age group. 

Marketing was also a hot spot in a recent report from US-based company CareerBliss, which placed the position of Marketing Specialist, as the most coveted role for feeling blissful. The reason? The report pointed not just to the higher-than-average salaries available but also to the ability to use creativity and problem solving to build a company’s marketing strategies. 

This sense of fulfilment is a recurring theme in many jobs where happiness is at a high. While many people think high pay is always the priority in employment, research actually shows that salaries are not the sole factor when it comes to making people satisfied. Having a sense of purpose and feeling fulfillment are equally, if not more, important. 

That’s one reason why engineering also scores so highly in happiness surveys. 

There are many different branches in this sector, of course, but being able to plan, design, construct and test structures, materials and systems is incredibly attractive to naturally inquisitive minds. And with every day bringing fresh challenges, there’s no room here for boring or monotonous tasks.  

Another area where job satisfaction is high is in science and technology. Here, too, a wide variety of roles and specialisms allow people to do what they love, with ample opportunities to pursue passions, gain new insights and even make important scientific breakthroughs. 

Finally, it should come as no surprise that a role that appears frequently in happiness tables is that of the recruiter. This position involves creating and maximising recruitment plans and strategies to meet organisations’ staffing needs. But above all of this, recruiters are tasked with helping job seekers land rewarding roles – while at the same time making sure their clients find the talent they need to grow their businesses.  

It’s a case of being paid to make everyone’s lives fuller and jobs such as this don’t get much more fulfilling. 

If you’d like to find your own role where feeling happy is just part of the job, you can find the latest vacancies in every sector online now.