About The Happy Lawyer
Are Lawyers Happy?
Happiness: A Primer
A Happiness Toolbox for Lawyers
Preparing for a Happy Career:
The Law School Years
Making a Happier Law Firm
Seeking Happier Ground
Buy The Happy Lawyer
News & Notes
Satisfaction with a career tends to increase over time. As the years go by, many workers manage to find ways to spend more time performing the tasks they enjoy most, while passing off to other—usually younger—workers some of the more annoying tasks. More experienced workers generally have achieved a higher level of competence and that makes for less job-related anxiety. They have a clearer understanding of what is expected from them. Finally, in the absence of excessive turnover, bad hires, or a repellant personality, they likely have accumulated a set of relationships that provide support and a source of fun.
satisfaction show a clear upward trend in job
satisfaction over time.
In addition to more satisfying work and more work product control, there is another reason for higher career satisfaction as the years go by. As we age, we learn to use more “mature adaptations” to deal with the inevitable setbacks and disappointments that come our way. Mature adaptations probably account for the higher rates of happiness reported by people in their sixties than in their twenties. When we are young and confronted by frustrations, we are more inclined to turn to repression, disassociation, projection, or passive aggression (consult your old Psych 101 text to jog your memory about these classic defense mechanisms). As we get older, we increasingly use healthier techniques, including altruism, humor, anticipation, suppression, and sublimation. For example, an older person is somewhat less likely to obsess about an office slight and more likely to shrug it off or laugh about it.
finding of George Valliant, in Adaptation
to Life, an account of a classic longitudinal
study of ’42, ’43,