Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 1–15 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Orientations to Happiness and Job Satisfaction One Year Later in a Representative Sample of Employees in Switzerland

  • María Luisa Martínez-MartíEmail author
  • Willibald Ruch
Research Paper


There are three different routes to happiness: the pleasant life, the good or engaged life, and the meaningful life. These three orientations are positively related with life satisfaction, but the relation with job satisfaction is still not clear. This study examines the relationship between the three orientations to happiness (OTH) and job satisfaction in a 1-year longitudinal study with a representative sample (N = 752, 387 men) of working adults living in Switzerland. This study is part of a larger survey that includes several self-report measures. Regression analyses showed that engagement was positively related with job satisfaction 1 year later. Moreover, when controlling for sociodemographic variables (i.e., age and gender), work-related variables (i.e., household income, managerial responsibility, and financial responsibility), and the five factors of personality (i.e., neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) the interaction of the three OTH (i.e., pleasure × engagement × meaning), still predicted job satisfaction significantly. Individuals who endorse the three OTH presented the highest job satisfaction 1 year later. Therefore, although engagement is more important for job satisfaction than pleasure or meaning, the best predictor of job satisfaction is the interaction of the three OTH. Thus, people who are high in the three OTH simultaneously enjoy the highest job satisfaction. Future studies should examine whether this relationship is causal.


Orientation to happiness Engagement Job satisfaction Longitudinal study Representative sample Positive psychology 



This publication benefited from the support of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES –Overcoming vulnerability: life course perspectives, which is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The authors are grateful to the Swiss National Science Foundation for its financial assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Luisa Martínez-Martí
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Willibald Ruch
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES–Overcoming Vulnerability: Life Course PerspectivesUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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