Being Happy at Work Takes Work

Perspectives
Oct 19, 2011
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4 Min Read

You might not believe me when I tell you this, but I have one wish for my children, and it’s not that they are intelligent or successful.  I want them to be happy.  That’s it.

If happiness is a challenge for you, you might understand where I’m coming from.  And thanks to experts like New York-based writer Gretchen Rubin, happiness has become a twenty-first century mandate.  Gretchen was on a city bus in the rain when she asked herself what it would take to make her happy.  She didn’t have an immediate answer, leading to a year of research and a book, The Happiness Project, that includes insights on well-being from history, philosophy, scientific studies, and real-life experiences.

Gretchen says that happiness is something everyone should think about, even if you’re fortunate to have the staples of a good life: health, career, and relationships.

Look Inside Yourself

The area of life that people say makes them most miserable is work, which is really too bad. When it comes to finding a role that makes you happier, start with a roster of things you genuinely like to do. Note that your list should not include things you feel you ought to like.  This requires looking inside yourself, because everyone has different inclinations and varying definitions of fun.

And you don’t necessarily have to overhaul your career completely. Being happier at work can be as simple as starting your day off right by making your bed or finding a friend to talk to over your lunch hour. And those who are self-sacrificing will be relieved to hear that doing things to make others happy is apparently one of the easiest ways to be happy yourself.

Choose Your Attitude

If you’re having a rough time job wise, being happy might be easier said than done.  Remember that have the ability to choose your response to your environment and that you can change your attitude for the better by choosing to focus on particular thoughts.  To that end, it helps to focus on the present moment.  Instead of ruminating about the past or the future, recognize the positive aspects of life in the here and now.  Whether it’s a line of glowing feedback from your boss or a smile from your child, you will inevitably experience something that has the power to turn your day around.

If you’re considering or actively making a career change, attending a conference (insert conference post link) in your target field can be a smart strategy to move things forward.  Travel and participation can be time consuming and expensive, however, so you want to be certain that each conference represents a sound investment in your future career.

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