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Working harder makes you happy, according to latest research

PROs in top organisations work longer hours, yet claim to be happier in their jobs than those working in less successful businesses. These findings come from a study quoted in Communication Excellence from the European Communication Monitor that shows communications professionals working in excellent organisations do more overtime, yet report higher levels of job satisfaction.

Excellent organisations require more overtime work in communications

Working hours in an average week (compared to the employment/job contract)

Zerfass et al (2014), p. 144. 2,090 communications professionals working in communications departments across Europe were asked: “How many hours do you work in an average week compared with the hours required by your work contract (with or without financial compensation).

Discussing how it is possible that those who work longer hours actually enjoy their jobs more, one of the book's authors, Dr Dejan Verčič, professor and head of Centre for Marketing and Public Relations at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, says: ”It is not hard to work long hours if you are good at what you do, you are doing it in an environment you enjoy, and you know how to have fun afterwards.”

Verčič says that it is not all work and no play, plus there are the perks of better salaries: “Practitioners in excellent communication departments simply work more and party more than those from less than excellent departments; and they are more satisfied with their jobs and report the same work-life balance as their less hard-working colleagues. It makes sense that those people who work hard and have more fun in the process, also earn more and have better career opportunities than those who don’t. Communicators in excellent communications departments essentially have a temperament and disposition towards action and engagement in all that they do.”

Verčič concludes that there is a simple lesson that can be learnt from this study, which is that you need to think of your job as a calling rather than just as a job: ”If you want to succeed in public relations, you must simply love what you so much that you practise to excel, be the best you can and subsequently succeed. Continuing professionalisation of the field depends on what practitioners do in their working lives and requires that they treat their work as more than just a ‘job’; in other words, like other professional areas, the profession is a calling. To work hard and feel good at the same time demands a vision of the purpose that reaches beyond an end-of-month paycheck. The ‘real PROs’ are talented, educated and skilled, and they use their abilities for both personal and greater good.”

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