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    Satisfaction Survey: Happiness

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    84. On its own, a fairly nondescript number. It could be Junior’s science test score or the radar reading that got you ticketed in the 45-mph zone. But in the design industry, it’s pretty significant. Of all respondents in our 2012 job satisfaction survey, 84 percent said they were happy. That’s a lot of smiles. Even more significant: Half of them weren’t merely content; they were either very or extremely satisfied.

    Those are big numbers. Some other eye-poppers help backup the claim: 8 of 10 workers surveyed say they are feeling secure in their current jobs (although 58 percent would be open to new opportunities if they arose). Only about 10 percent are actively looking for a new position.

    bubblesWe asked every one surveyed to check off the five factors that have the greatest impact on job satisfaction. Work-life balance came in at 50 percent. The opportunity to do great design was just under at 44 percent. Tying at 37 percent were an attractive salary and a sense of accomplishment. The last, at 35 percent, was relationships with colleagues.

    Given the large percentage of happy employees, those top needs are, for the most part, being met. And did you notice only one of the answers has anything to do with money?* It appears happiness for designers is contingent on corporate culture and its ability to provide rewarding work in a pleasant environment. Proving the point: 34 percent have challenging work, 28 percent get the opportunity to develop new skills, and 25 percent enjoy a feeling of recognition.

    This is exciting news. After a period of financial and employment upheaval, these responses point to a sense of security and stability in the industry. That can’t be underestimated: Happy designers mean better design, and better design means happy clients and better business opportunities. Not bad for a little number like 84.

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