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‘Honeymoon period’ not just for relationships, job study finds

Happiness is short-lived in the workplace, along with interest in the newly-acquired position, according to new research from staffing agency Robert Half.

In their recent study, it was uncovered that workers are the happiest and least stressed in the first year of a job.


After that, happiness and interest go downhill, and stress increases.

“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.”

When asked who’s responsible for keeping their spirits high on the job, 25 percent of workers said it was their responsibility alone. Most respondents cited a combination of both the worker and the company, a response Robert Half agrees with.

Richard Singer, director of permanent placement services for Robert Half in Woodbridge and Princeton, said it’s up to employers to promote a positive workforce culture in order to attract and retain top-notch employees. And employees need to be proactive with their professional growth if they feel stagnant or unhappy.

“Better retention rates equate to a happier workforce,” Singer said. “And a lot of times it’s just the way the employer communicates with the employee in making them feel wanted and important.”

Not all of the survey’s findings were depressing. After three years or more on the job, according to the workers’ responses, happiness levels edge back up and interest levels increase. In fact, interest levels hit their highest point among those with the greatest tenure of 21-plus years.

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