Three Tests That Reveal How Happy You Are At Work

Three Tests That Reveal How Happy You Are At Work
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The end of the year can be a time to reflect on your work and career progress. Although every job has its benefits and drawbacks, these three tests cut through any confusion and clarify how you really feel about it.

Picture: Bill Abbott/Flickr

Computer science professor Daniel Lemire writes on his blog:

I have long proposed the retirement freedom test. If you were really free in your job, you would continue it into your retirement. Another test is the lottery ticket test: would you keep your job if you won the lottery? But these tests are, again, somewhat subjective. Most people only retire once and they usually cannot tell ahead of time what retirement will be like.

For something more immediate, more measurable, I propose the week-end test. I conjecture that, given a choice, most people with a family would want to be free on week-ends to spend all their time with their kids. (Admittedly, others might want to dedicate their week-ends to unbridled and continuous kinky sex. But you get my point.)

So anyone who works on week-end fails the week-end freedom test. If you are checking emails from work on week-ends, you fail.

Lemire uses these tests to determine how much freedom an employee has at work. He also points out that many people fail these tests by choice. You can follow a similar train of thought and see how happy you are with your job after taking these tests, and determining if your sacrifices are worth it.

The week-end freedom test [Daniel Lemire’s blog]


  • People that would continue their job after winning the lottery would clearly be in the minority, as very few jobs are awesome enough to compete with free time and funds to pursue whatever goals you deem worthy. I dont think such a thing should be used to see if you are practically happy in your job. Work is called work for a reason; they dont call it fun

    • And yet, on the other hand, If I won the lottery I would keep working in my crappy helpdesk job even though I do not enjoy it.

      Edit: oops appears I misread that, I guess I’m the minority.

  • I work a shift roster. What’s this thing called a weekend?
    When a shift ends at 6AM, and I have 3 days off before a shift that starts at 6AM, the day of the week is less important than preparing my body clock.

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