Loving Work and Loving Life

March 24, 2022   |   Rob Kancler   |   Lead Generation Tactics

The approach of Valentine’s Day got me thinking about love and more specifically loving what I do in terms of work. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love my job every second of every day, but I can say I am very happy and satisfied with my work.

This led to me wondering about how many people are satisfied with their current job. While researching this topic I was surprised to find a wide range of job satisfaction rates, ranging from 35% satisfied to 80% satisfied. Seeking some clarity, I turned to the polling giant Gallup for some answers and what I found was encouraging. In 1993, according to Gallup, 86% of people polled were either completely satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their job. In 2021 the number was 87%. In between the range was pretty much 85-91%. The encouraging thing was that more people today are completely satisfied with their job, 48%, than in 1993 when only 35% reported complete satisfaction. That reflects the overall trend from 1993 to today. When digging deeper there were five keys that lead to being happy in your job. As I studied them it occurred to me that these five keys to work happiness were also vital to happiness in life outside of work.

Teamwork

The first key to happiness at work is being part of a team. Employees tend to find more enjoyment at work if they feel valued as part of a team environment—an environment where they know their role, feel supported by other members of the team and, as part of the team, have other people they can help and get ideas and help from when the need arises. The same applies to happiness at home. If you have a spouse, significant partner, other, etc. and feel like you are both equal partners, members of the “team”, you have a key foundational piece to happiness in life.

Shared Values

Working at a company and with people that share many of the same values that you have as an employee has a couple of aspects that contribute to your happiness at work. First, you will not have to question the morality of the company you work for or the work you do. That helps to remove questioning, second-guessing, and self-doubt that can drain you mentally and emotionally. Second, it can make it easier to bond with and work beside your co-workers. Outside of work having a set of shared values with the people closest to you can save a number of headaches and small arguments in your personal life. This doesn’t mean ignore people who have different viewpoints than yours- solicitation of contrary opinions is important. Being with a company and people who share the majority of base values that you have helps to make for a smoother and more fulfilling work life.

Positive Co-Workers

The cliché is old but holds true—surround yourself with positive people if you want to be happy. At work this is key because positive people are the ones that tend to contribute energy, happiness, and optimism in a work setting while negative people tend to be the ones who drain the enthusiasm from a place of business. The same holds true with your out-of-work life. There are people in life who look for the positive, the reasons for hope every day and there are people who look for the negative, the reasons why something can’t be done, why something is destined to fail. Surrounding yourself with happy people will increase the likelihood that you will find happiness both in and out of work.

Sense of Mission

Something that can frustrate and demoralize an employee is uncertainty, the feeling that you are spinning your wheels without a clear direction of where you are going or what your daily efforts are contributing to. Having a clear sense of mission, of purpose brings clarity and a sense of fulfillment. Involved in this is having clear goals of what you are trying to accomplish, a plan to achieve those goals, and an understanding of how your efforts will contribute a positive result not just for yourself and company, but to your community and world as well. Having this same sense of mission outside of work will help to give energy and optimism and help you get through tough times.

Service to Others

Employees tend to find happiness at work when they can see that their company stands for more than just the financial bottom line. One way that this is accomplished is when the company you work for helps and encourages you to find avenues of community service. Many companies have paid community service days or hours that can be used throughout the year. Having the opportunity to be of service to others in need as part of work can do wonders for employee morale and happiness. Finding ways to help others outside of work can help to achieve the first four keys to happiness as well.

Make no mistake, there is no magic trick to finding happiness at work or outside of work. Part of the equation will rest with your own mindset, focusing on the positive and rejecting the negative. However, associating yourself with an employer and people who value teamwork, share your value, are positive, have a sense of mission, and encourage and practice service to others will increase the likelihood that you will find happiness and satisfaction in work and life.