Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Authors Have Happy Jobs

by Deb Baker/Hannah Reed

Recently, Forbes made a list of the ten happiest jobs. Here they are:
1. Clergy
2. Firefighters
3. Physical therapists
4. Authors !!!
5. Special education teachers
6. Teachers
7. Artists
8. Psychologists
9. Financial services sales agents
10. Operating engineers

That last one, the definition of, had me stumped until I read further – “Playing with giant toys like bulldozers, front-end loaders…”

So guess what? I have one happy career. But Forbes didn’t have to tell me that. Every morning I wake up looking forward to the day. Sure, I’ve had to learn to stay focused and organized, but I’m the boss of me. No one else gets to tell me what to do or when to do it. I see that feature in the other nine happy jobs, too.

And none of them are extremely high-paying jobs (trust me), so money doesn’t make us happy. We know that, right?

The thing that really stands out for me is that these people are making meaningful contributions (okay, I’m not sure about the bulldozer operators). I’m not pulling people out of burning buildings or guiding them on their spiritual quests, but what I do feels worthwhile.

Early on, I wanted to write the great American novel. I wanted wealth and fame. These days I’m more realistic and much happier. I don’t take myself so seriously. My goal at this stage is to tell funny stories and make my readers laugh. The best email I ever received was from a woman in chemo, who told me my books were the only things that made her laugh. How cool is that?

Anyway, do you agree with the list? Are you on the list? What would you add to it?
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