happiness

Sometimes, no job is better than a bad job

March 30, 2011 at 11:07 AM ET

What’s worse than being unemployed? Working in a job you hate.

A new Gallup poll finds that workers who are “actively disengaged” – that is, emotionally disconnected from their work and workplace – are more likely to rate their lives as poor than those who are unemployed.

The survey found that 48 percent of unemployed workers are thriving in their lives, compared with 42 percent of unhappy workers. Seventy-one percent of happy and enthusiastic workers were thriving.

The unemployed people also were more likely than the unhappy workers to report that they were well-rested, smiled or laughed a lot and experienced enjoyment.  

A higher percentage of unemployed and unhappy workers said they felt worried, sad, stressed and angry than those who are happy in their work.

Of course, in the current economy, many people might be willing to take a job they hate, and even risk some unhappiness at work, just because it comes with a paycheck.

The survey was based on telephone interviews of 1,266 U.S. adults, completed late last year.

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