You might think that the only reasons people choose boring jobs is because it’s a bad economy, they need money, and they have no choice. New research shows those aren’t the only reasons, though.
Money, it turns out, does play a role in selecting boring jobs, but not always for a reason you’d think. Some people pick boring because they feel they should get paid more for the additional effort of an interesting job. Even if the monetary difference between a boring job and an interesting job isn’t enough to sway the decision, people will pick a boring job over an interesting job if the boring job involves less effort.
This study – conducted by Peter Ubel and David Comeford at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business – could have a big impact on peoples’ willingness to open businesses. Starting a small business is inherently a labor-intensive proposition. Although the monetary rewards can be pretty significant, the endeavor can also be a complete financial flop.
If you want to be happy in your career choice, though, Ubel and Comeford suggest ignoring the inclination that you should get paid more for working more hours. Comeford said, “I can see lots of good reasons why your gut would tell you not to work unless you get paid more than you’d get for doing nothing, but the lesson I take from these studies is that that reaction risks leaving you bored and unhappy.”