4 Career Archetypes: Which one are you?

​Tal Ben-Shahar teaches the most popular course at Harvard.  The class presumably has a more academic title but it is basically a class on how to be happy. 
Among the many nuggets of wisdom that Ben-Shahar presents is a 4 archetype examination of people on the happiness spectrum. Unquestionably, most everyone is a mixture of each but I will present the extremes.

  1. The Rat Racer:  These are people who are concerned with happiness in the future. They are willing to endure current misery for future happiness.  I would say that most of my thirty and forty something career counseling clients fall into this category. They fill the Connecticut suburbs.  Off to work at 7ish, 30-45 minute commute to New Haven or Hartford or longer if in Fairfield County, leave work in the 6ish range and repeat. Day after day at a job that they don’t really like.  It is wonderful that rat-racers are responsible. But this is not the optimal way to live.
  2. The Hedonist: They embrace happiness in the moment for the expense of happiness in the future. Some but not all of my twentysomething clients fall into this category.
  3. The Nihilist: They believe that happiness is not attainable in either the present or the future.  While my work is as a career coach, I am sometimes called upon to be a life coach. Those who are depressed – like most Nihilists – need both a practical solution (such as career help) and psychological bolstering (such as a shift in perspective)
  4. Happiness: View present activities happily and these activities are those that also lead to future happiness.  That’s how I want my clients to leave.

Where are you primarily in this paradigm?  My guess is “rat-racer”. There is another way.