But a recent study from Robert Half and Happiness Works shows that professionals with between one and two years on the job are less happy, less interested in their work and more stressed than those still in their first year. And then there’s a rebound. After three years or more on the job, happiness levels edge back up and interest levels increase. In fact, those with the greatest tenure (21 years or more) showed the highest level of interest in their jobs.
“Once they get past year one, the honeymoon appears to be over for many professionals,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. “After 12 months on the job, employees are expected to work more autonomously and take on added responsibility. At the same time, aspects of the job that at first seemed novel and interesting may lose their luster.”
Although managers can take steps to create a happier work environment, they aren’t the only ones who can fan the flames of employee happiness.
When asked who’s responsible for keeping spirits high on the job, 25% of workers surveyed said it was their responsibility alone. Another 5% said it was all in their company’s hands. The majority of respondents—70%—said it was a combination of the two.