Happiness in Stability

It might seem that a promotion or a radical career switch would make you happier with work, but don't count on it.

People who were promoted in the past five years were no more likely to say they love their jobs than people remaining in the same position (33 percent and 31 percent), according to the results of a recent Gallup poll of 564 adults employed full or part time. And those who changed careers within five years love their jobs in equal measure to those who didn't (31 and 32 percent).

In fact, staying put seems a fulfilling strategy. Some 36 percent of workers who continued with the same employer for more than five years say they love their job, compared with 26 percent who switched employers.

"The thing that makes or breaks a job is your boss," said Hallie Pickhardt, a U.S. Department of Agriculture supervising public affairs specialist in Riverdale. "I'm always doing something different, learning something new."

Pickhardt, a six-year veteran, was promoted in June. But that's not why she's happy, she said. She credits wonderful bosses, her positive attitude and the chance to give the public useful information.

-- Vickie Elmer