Happy in your work? Look for these elements!
Nirvana at work is the realization of some form of happiness. But what is it that make you feel happier…a free meal and a massage, lots more money? The following 5 items are things you should look for to ensure you set yourself up with a role and an organisation that should provide a “happy landing”!
Work that challenges you.
You will be happiest when engaged in difficult, but do-able work. Spend time making sure you understand what the work will actually be, how it’s given to you and how you are expected to hand it off.
A sense of progress
HBS research has found that some of the happiest and most productive days were those marked by a sense of progress. So when you are at work, focus on filtering out that which can wait and focus on those things which will ultimately give you a sense of accomplishment. This is because we get a feeling of pleasure from closure. This research applies to the teams we work in who also need to be achieving.
When interviewing don’t only focus on yourself but also focus on the team you will be joining – are they a team that get’s things done, how is that measured, do they celebrate it? And don’t forget that rushing to close all those items in your inbox won’t make you productive or give you the sense of achievement we are talking about here!
Try and understand the culture of the place you are considering joining at both the team and company level. If you progress to second interview stage this is usually a chance for you to meet some of the team. They are often tasked to identify “team fit”. This is not a one sided event. Make sure you ask probing questions about the team leader and their leadership style, and how the team works on a day to day basis. In addition use your network to do your own reference checking to try and ratify your understanding of the team and the company. One of the biggest things you need to identify is if there is some form of fear culture because fear has a very debilitating effect on safety, trust,
One of the biggest things you need to identify is if there is some form of fear culture because fear has a very debilitating effect on safety, trust, team work, collaboration, creativity, innovation, and invention. This doesn’t mean there can’t be accountability. But if you think leaders are using manufactured fear as a way to motivate, it will be a place that will just make you miserable.
In a significant study involving over 400,000 people in 63 countries autonomy and control over one’s life where shown to matter more to happiness than money! So in a work place context ask about the amount of control you will have over your work and just as important over your time too. Flexibility around your work hours is key and needs to be discussed and understood. Most employers are really paying for your outputs and not your time. As long as
Flexibility around your work hours is key and needs to be discussed and understood. Most employers are really paying for your outputs and not your time. As long as client and team needs are being met they should be able to be accommodating.
We are social. If you don’t have mates at work then you will be less productive and engaged than people who do. Good friendships do take effort so look for signs that the employer encourages this through sports, team activities, coffee’s out and just doing things together.
If that sounds like too much for you then look for ways to help others out in your day – giving is hugely cathartic and is usually well regarded by others! Could be the foundation for good solid relationships at work – and a sense of accomplishment in helping others.
A little self-reflection about what makes you really happy and seeking to align those things at work will go a long way to making for a happy match!