Self-employment is the secret to happiness

Self-employment is the secret to happiness

A new study led by Murdoch University's Dean of Business Michael Schaper has revealed people who work for themselves are much happier in life.
The study, which surveyed more than 7000 people including the self-employed and wage earners, showed running your own business could lead to more satisfaction than other career paths.

Professor Schaper said there were more than 1.8 million small firms in Australia but few researchers have tried to find out if becoming a self-employed entrepreneur does, in fact, lead to greater personal rewards than other careers.

Clear results

“The results of our survey seem to be pretty clear: if you really want to get a sense of satisfaction and contentment in your work life, then you should seriously consider going into business for yourself,” Professor Schaper said.

Using data from the national Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, the researchers compared the level of satisfaction and well-being between 526 business owners and 6840 wage and salaried employees.

The researchers examined a range of issues, including satisfaction with one’s own life and job, individual priorities, perceived prosperity, risk preferences, and individual health and well-being.

Job satisfaction

“The results suggest the level of satisfaction between the self-employed and paid employees does differ significantly and that entrepreneurs are more satisfied than their waged counterparts,” Professor Schaper said.

“Self-employed business owners report both higher levels of overall life satisfaction and job satisfaction.”

The results also broadly align with similar findings amongst other nations across the OECD.

The study has recently been presented to the HILDA Survey Research Conference and is under submission for the leading academic journal Small Business Economics.

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