Career Happiness

By Linda L. Hardenstein

If you were to rate how happy you are in your career on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being not happy at all and 10 buiness teambeing overjoyed what would your score be?

If your score was less than 10 you’re not alone. A Gallup study found that only about one-third of people feel passionate about their work; the rest are disengaged and even depressed. At the same time career well-being is one of the five essential elements for living into a ripe old age and for thriving in life.

From my research and helping executives and college students find work that they love, here are three tips for finding career happiness:

  1. Get really clear on your strengths and do your best to use them every day. As part of an assessment I help my clients identify their strengths to zero in on their best career fit. You can identify your strengths by spending a few minutes writing down the things that you love to do and that are effortless for you. Those are two clues that it’s a strength.
  2. Connect with like-minded people. If you don’t have much in common with your co-workers it can be a lonely place. If you’re in a management position it may be hard to establish trusting relationships with colleagues. You also have to be careful of spending time with those you supervise. If you can’t find someone to connect with at work consider building relationships with people in your same field who may work at another company. The Gallup study found that six hours of social time daily increases your well-being and decreases stress and worry. I’m not suggesting spending six hours being social at work, but establishing healthy relationships with colleagues can not only make you happier, establishing a network can be a smart career strategy as well.
  3. There is nothing more stifling to one’s spirit than not learning and growing. Seek out opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills. Find a mentor inside or outside your organization to help you learn new things. If you can’t find opportunities inside your organization, volunteer outside as a way to build new skills or to be engaged in an activity you love. Volunteer experience can also be of value on your resume.

Following these three steps can help you raise your career happiness score. If you’d like to know more about finding a career that is a good fit for you, visit my website or contact me.

If you’re happy in your career what makes it so? Please leave a comment.

To your career success!