Monday, June 17, 2024

Men in medium status jobs are less satisfied with their lives than those in low-ranking roles, study finds

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  • Men in medium status jobs rank their life satisfaction the lowest
  • Women’s life satisfaction was found to be less dependent on their job status 

Men in medium status jobs are much less satisfied with their lives than blokes in low- or high-status roles, a new study has revealed. 

Researchers from SP Jain London School of Management describe these men as the ‘miserable middle’. 

However, their study did not find a link between occupational status and life satisfaction in women. 

‘The “miserable middle” is caused by men who are never in high- or low-status jobs,’ explained Proefssor Yannis Georgellis, who led the research. 

‘Equally, individuals who move from low- to middle-status jobs may be frustrated not to move to the top of the career ladder. But men who have always been in low-status roles don’t experience this frustration.’

Men in medium status jobs are much less satisfied with their lives than blokes in low- or high-status roles, a new study has revealed (stock image)

In their study, the team set out to understand whether or not there is a link between occupational status and life satisfaction. 

They enlisted 13,500 people from across the UK, who were surveyed over 20 years. 

Participants were asked to rate their life satisfaction on a scale of one to seven, while their occupational status was measured according to a standard scale. 

The results revealed that men in middle status jobs were the unhappiest.  

‘We found that men stuck in mediocre jobs were the most miserable, and that occupational mobility is key to life satisfaction for those men,’ Professor Georgellis said.

Overall, women's life satisfaction was found to be less dependent on their job status. However, this was not the case for more highly educated women (stock image)

Overall, women’s life satisfaction was found to be less dependent on their job status. However, this was not the case for more highly educated women (stock image)

The researchers compare this pattern to the ‘Silver Medallist’ effect.

This describes how people who win Silver medals in sporting competitions are the least happy, as they compare themselves to Gold-medal winners. 

In contrast, Bronze medal winners are happier because they can consider the alternative of not getting a medal at all.  

Overall, women’s life satisfaction was found to be less dependent on their job status. 

However, this was not the case for more highly educated women. 

‘With the sharp rise in women’s education, which now exceeds that of men, occupational status looks set to play a much bigger role in the well-being of all workers,’ Professor Georgellis added.

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