These Are the Jobs That Make Each Generation the Happiest

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  • For Generation Z, jobs that provide them the most satisfaction are roles in which they can shape company culture and have social impact.
  • The top jobs for millennials and Gen Zers can be reached early in one’s career with minimal years of direct experience.
  • The top jobs for both Gen X and baby boomers are C-Level/executive positions that require deep field knowledge and experience.

Gen Z, millennials, Gen X, and baby boomers all have different priorities in their work roles.

When it comes to jobs and careers, different generations have different priorities. While some may prioritize high salaries, others may prefer jobs with more flexible hours. It's no secret that different generations have different opinions on what makes them happy.

The baby boomers, for example, may prefer jobs that offer stability and security, while millennials may prefer jobs with a better work-life balance. But what about happiness? Which jobs make each generation the happiest? According to data from Glassdoor, these are the jobs that top the lists for each generation. The rating is based on a five-point scale, with 5 being very satisfied and 1 being very dissatisfied.

Gen Z (born 1997–2012)

For Gen Zers, jobs that provide them the most satisfaction are roles in which they can shape company culture and have social impact. Being a corporate recruiter topped the list since it provides them the opportunity to have a say in how companies attract and retain talent, including helping build diverse and inclusive workforces.

The highest-rated employers for Gen Z were companies such as Microsoft, Google, Morgan Stanley, and Trader Joe's. Gen Zers are happiest when working in largely creative, non-technical roles. Only two out of the 10 highest-rated jobs for Gen Z employees are in tech, compared to five for non–Gen Z workers.

Rank Position Avg Rating
1 Corporate Recruiter 4.79
2 Marketing Manager 4.56
3 Social Media Manager 4.46
4 Data Scientist 4.44
5 Product Manager 4.40
6 IT Specialist 4.35
7 Account Coordinator 4.31
8 Credit Analyst 4.30
9 Project Engineer 4.28
10 Business Development Associate 4.28

Millennials (born 1981–1996)

For millennials, being a Realtor topped the list, with corporate recruiter a close second. The top jobs for millennials and Gen Z can be reached early in one's career with minimal years of direct experience.

Rank Position Avg Rating
1 Realtor 4.58
2 Corporate Recruiter 4.57
3 Full Stack Engineer 4.56
4 Chief Operating Officer 4.54
5 Technical Account Manager 4.53
6 SEO Analyst 4.49
7 Executive Director 4.48
8 Technical Recruiter 4.46
9 Salesforce Developer 4.45
10 President 4.43

Gen Xers (born 1965–1980)

The top jobs for both Gen Xers and baby boomers are C-Level/executive positions. These roles require deep field knowledge and experience and consequently are not listed for Gen Z. President, for example, is ranked No. 10 for millennials, but increases to No. 3 for Gen X, and tops the list for baby boomers.

Rank Position Avg Rating
1 Chief Executive Officer 4.91
2 Chief Operating Officer 4.73
3 President 4.72
4 Corporate Recruiter 4.58
5 Strategy Manager 4.53
6 Realtor 4.48
7 Law Firm Partner 4.45
8 Solutions Engineer 4.45
9 Customer Success Manager 4.41
10 HR Specialist 4.40

Baby boomers (born 1946–1964)

As workers get older and further into their careers, the types of jobs they typically find more satisfying are ones with greater responsibility and duties. These jobs also tend to be relatively well-paid positions, which certainly contributes to happiness.

Rank Position Avg Rating
1 President 4.95
2 Chief Executive Officer 4.89
3 Realtor 4.74
4 Executive Director 4.64
5 HR Manager 4.53
6 Executive Assistant 4.46
7 Business Development Manager 4.39
8 Marketing Manager 4.36
9 Insurance Sales Agent 4.28
10 Attorney 4.22

Each generation shows distinctively different jobs that require different skills, responsibilities, and years of experience. If you're looking for a job that will make you happy, it's worth considering one that offers some degree of control and flexibility, as well as a generous paycheck to grow your savings account. Of course, the most important thing is to find a job that aligns with your values and interests -- after all, that's what will make you truly happy in the long run.

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