Many studies examining the relationship between job satisfaction and health show that people who were happy in their jobs were, in particular, less likely to experience depression or low self-esteem compared with those less satisfied with their jobs.
While we live in a brave new world of work where portfolio careers are the norm and, thanks to the web, opportunities to meet up with like-minded hobbyists for self-expression outside of work are greater than ever and we derive a huge amount of our self-identity from our work. In a 2014 Gallup survey 55% of workers in the United States say their work gave them their sense of identity, increasing to 70% of college graduates.
Former software engineer Roland Thompson agrees. He retrained as a farrier at the age of 39 when his business “fell off a cliff” in the 2009 crash. After much soul-searching he relocated his wife and 9-month-old baby from Gloucestershire, England, to Dorset, England, to pursue his dream.
“Losing my business was a bruising experience” he says. “But losing everything was also an opportunity to start afresh and pursue something I really loved.
“My friends thought I was bonkers spending 3 years literally shoveling manure, working very long hours on even lower pay, apprenticed to a local farrier. But I loved it.”
Roland qualified in 2015, and business is booming.
“It’s hard on the body, but I’ve never looked, or felt, better,” he says. “I never have the Sunday night blues any more.”