Happiness in Choosing a Career

Victoria Segovia- HB

Happiness is seen in a variety of ways throughout the world. It is thought to be seen through the love that one shares with another or in the laughter and the smiles etched across children’s faces. Happiness can be instilled in nature or in foods, in family or friends. It is something that we live with on a daily basis, as happiness is actively involved in our decision making. In the long run, happiness is imperative to think of when relating to our futures. Happiness is therefore an immense factor that comes to play when choosing a career, based on the works and perspective of Aristotle and from research conducted concerning issue.

Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher, speaks of happiness as being something other than what most thought it to be. “The result is that the good of man is exercise of his faculties in accordance with his excellence or virtue, or, if there be more than one, in accordance with the best and most complete virtue1,”Aristotle says. Aristotle states here, that the results of a good man (a man living in happiness), include exercising his abilities with excellence and virtue. Summarizing what Aristotle is further saying, he then explains that one does not feel happiness, rather, one DOES happiness2. Aristotle sees it as an activity or a kind of life. As a human being, we live lives that are proper to us; our ultimate goal in this life is happiness. When choosing a career, it is thus vital to choose one that you would enjoy. Having a career in something that you love and appreciate doing makes living a life of happiness reachable. One will find that exercising his abilities with excellence and virtue in a career that they enjoy, will be much easier than in a career they are not happy in. In order to live this life of happiness, we must do what we love—and if we find no joy in what we do on a daily basis, it will take away from living a life full of content.

Based on studies conducted that have to do with jobs and happiness, much can be inferred. “A study carried out in Germany by the Institute for the Study of Labor in 2007 revealed that being happy at work actually makes us healthier3,” one says. Consequently, being unhappy at work could lead to having bad health—contributing to decreasing an overall life of unhappiness. Not only is choosing a career that you love important, but choosing one where you are cherished should also be taken into consideration, as this also contributes one’s happiness. It “can impact your happiness, both at work and at home4.” Choosing to work with what you love therefore impacts your life and the purpose of your life’s goal of being happy in various ways.

Overall, when choosing a career, it is necessary to choose the path that will make you the happiest. Having an enjoyable career leads to having greater fulfillment in the long run—which is most important according to the wise Aristotle. Work with what you love, and it will most definitely be worth it.

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”  ~A. Schweitzer

  1. The Ethics of Aristotle: The Nicomachean Ethics. 350 B.C.
  2. The Ethics of Aristotle: The Nicomachean Ethics.
  3. Beaton, Paula. “How Does Your Job Affect Your Happiness?” Expertrain. November 25, 2014. Accessed June 22, 2016. http://www.expertrain.com/blog/happiness/how-does-your-job-affect-your-happiness.htm.
  4. Beaton, Paula. “How does Your Job Affect Your Happiness?”

Image: Popov, Andrey. Group of Unidentified Business People.


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