How much is your happiness worth at work?

Take a few seconds to think of three things that make you happy.

5

4

3

2

…1

Were any of those three things related to work?

Was one of the things that popped in your mind “I love going to work each day”?

We spend an awful lot of time focused on it. Many people claim to love what they do. But sometimes it’s not loving what you do as much as it’s loving where you do it.

Is the secret to a happier workplace understanding the formulas we know within positive psychology?

In an economy that doesn’t lend itself to beggars or choosers, saying you will be picky about where you work based on its happiness quotient is an affront to the unemployed.

But, can you be loyal and work in earnest if you work in a place where it is impossible for you to be happy? One that clashes with your ethics? Your values? Your spirit? Your humanity?

For those looking for a new professional home, these are questions you need to ask yourselves before committing to a new employer. I look forward to the day when people don’t take a job simply because they need one but rather because both the organization and the employee will find a mutually beneficial relationship. A joining of the forces, if you will, where you serve each other.

As an employee, you have value to offer. Make sure you are adding value to places that deserve you and increase your happiness, not deplete it. Where you do what you love is as important as why you do it. Some people may not agree. They may say, ” I love what I do and it doesn’t matter where I do it,” but if you ask a swimmer if they are okay with swimming in one of those endless pools as long as they are in water, chances are they will tell you, “Um, no thanks.”

Part of our happiness is the experience of our environment. In some cases it must be conducive to our growth,  but in other cases, the status quo is exactly what we need to be happy. There is no exact formula. We all have to do our homework before venturing into new opportunities – make sure our happiness factor is always part of the equation.

Check out this great TED Talk by psychological researcher, author, and Harvard University professor Shawn Achor on ‘The Happy Secret to Better Work’.

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