Think about the last job that made you dread waking up and clocking in every day—it's highly likely that there was more than one factor influencing how unhappy you were at your 9-to-5. Whether it's a ridiculously long commute, a nightmare boss, or lack of a work/life balance, there are a number of things that can play a role in how satisfied you are with your professional life. One expert has outlined a statistically backed formula to ensure that you're the happiest in your career.
"First and foremost, get a job that speaks to your passions as opposed to your bank account. When it comes to income, [the] utility of that flattens out, [as] passion always grows over time," explains Dan Buettner, author of Blue Zones of Happiness. In a video for Business Insider, the happiness expert and National Geographic Explorer also stresses the importance of having a best friend at work.
"The biggest determinant of whether or not you like your job is if you have a best friend at work, and that comes from two million Gallup surveys," maintains Buettner. In addition to increasing your productivity, a work BFF can help you feel happier and more satisfied with your job—especially if they're someone you're comfortable enough with to talk about subjects beyond your usual elevator banter like the weather or office politics, for example. "You want to find a friend with whom you can have a meaningful conversation and they'll care about you on a bad day," he explains.
Another factor that can affect your happiness at work? Vacations: Buettner recommends taking several smaller vacays than one big getaway. "The ideal number of weeks of vacation per year is six weeks," he explains, "but in America, we only take about 11 days on average, and we could be a lot happier workers if we spread that out closer to the six-week ideal."