Emma Delli-Bovi
Emma Delli-Bovi
Senior Associate: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

Why am I unhappy in my job?

The BBC recently reported on the findings of The World Happiness Report and that Norway is now the happiest place on earth, knocking neighbouring Denmark from the top spot.

1000 people from over 150 counties are asked a range of questions each year including the following simple subjective question;

"Imagine a ladder with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?"

This average score is then looked at in conjunction with a range of additional factors including strength of the economy, social support, life expectancy, freedom of choice, generosity and perceived corruption and a score is given to that country.

In addition to the rankings the report examines topical matters and this year saw the analysis of happiness in the workplace. Happiness is apparently defined by how people evaluate their lives as a whole and as the majority of people spend most of their lives at work it plays a major part in your happiness perspective. It’s also evident that the importance of that job extends much further than the salary attached to it to include the non-pecuniary aspects of such a role, like work: life balance, prospects, additional perks etc.

As a bit of food for thought, I met with a client this month. This practice is a strong regional player and well regarded and established in the East Midlands. They told me very openly that they didn't consider it a worthwhile exercise to pay their employees at the same levels as the national or international practices are. Why, you might ask? Well, what those firms might offer in cash, this firm can offer in working culture, regular social engagements, flexibility in targets and a genuine open door policy with partner mentoring on hand. That, they believe, is worth more than another couple of thousand pounds in your bank annually.

To test this theory, they regularly do an internal anonymous survey about what their employees think of their approach and the results are always very positive!

Sometimes being happy in your job is not just about what you get paid and how regular you get an increase. Your ladder of happiness may include a ring for flexible/agile working, maybe for feeling valued in your role, having support and regular reviews, or just for feeling comfortable enough to speak out if you have a problem. Not every rung in the ladder is financial, as is usually assumed.

It's worth taking a moment to take stock of your happiness levels. Where on the scale do you see yourself? How could you move up the ladder to reach those dizzy heights of rung 7.54 like those people in Norway.

The survey, in fact, suggests that whilst those in very well paid jobs are generally happy, the effects of pay rises have diminishing returns for these people. What's an extra £100 to those at the top of the ladder, in comparison to those at the bottom?

If you're unhappy and want to have a general chat about your options please contact Emma Delli-Bovi at BCL Legal on 0121 230 1020. BCL can guarantee there are numerous opportunities out there which will offer what you're looking for whatever your aim maybe.

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