Objective. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between occupation and subjective well-being (SWB).
Method. A convenience sample of 120 adults completed a personal projects analysis, a method of rating their current goal-directed pursuits. They also completed measures of SWB (Affect Balance Scale, Life Satisfaction Index Form A) and personality traits (Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory). Characteristics of personal projects were correlated with SWB scores. Multiple regression analysis was used to investigate possible predictors of well-being from among the characteristics of personal projects, personality traits, and demographic variables.
Results. The stress associated with personal projects was significantly and inversely correlated with well-being, as was project difficulty. Perceived progress in completing projects was significantly positively correlated with well-being. The strongest predictors for well-being were the composite project factors of stress and efficacy. Two personality traits, sensing and extraversion, interacted with the project dimension of stress to emerge as significant predictors of well-being. Together, these four variables explained 42% of the variance in well-being scores.
Conclusion . These findings are consistent with assumptions that attributes of meaningful occupations are significantly related to people’s perceived well-being.